Alabama lawmakers head toward lottery vote

MGN Online

The ball is rolling for Alabama to potentially get a lottery.

Posted: Apr 19, 2019 2:31 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Lawmakers are headed to a vote on lottery legislation next week, as supporters aim to change Alabama's status as one of the few states without the games.

The Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on one of two rival lottery proposals introduced this session. Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh said his hope is to get a bill before the full Senate on Thursday. If a bill is approved by both chambers, the proposal would go before Alabama voters.

"I honestly think we are going to pass a bill," Marsh told The Associated Press when asked to gauge the outlook for the legislation. "I really believe the people of the state want a chance to vote on it."

The Senate committee, which Marsh chairs, is scheduled to consider a bill by Republican Sen. Greg Albritton of Atmore that would limit a lottery to paper tickets. A rival bill by Republican Sen. Jim McClendon, which would also allow electronic games at state dog tracks, was not listed on the committee agenda.

Albritton said he wants to limit games to a "paper lottery" because he said that is what most people envision when they think of a lottery instead of the video terminal. He said he was cautiously optimistic, but said the bill was not a "slam dunk."

"Now that Mississippi and everyone else around us has a lottery, it's difficult for us to face our constituents and say, "No we are not going to let you have a lottery," Albritton said.

McClendon said he was disappointed that his bill was not scheduled for a vote.

"My bill, number one, makes more money — a lot more money — and it creates a lot more jobs for the state of Alabama," he said.

The lottery debate will reignite longstanding disputes over who can operate electronic gambling machines in the state and concerns about the consequences for existing gambling operations if state gambling law is changed.

Some lawmakers have sought to ensure that state dog tracks can have video lottery terminals. In recent years, the state has seized electronic bingo machines at the tracks, arguing the slot machine lookalikes are not what was intended by state laws authorizing bingo. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians offer nearly identical games at three casinos in the state but the tribe does not fall under state jurisdiction.

If approved by the Senate, the bill will then move to the Alabama House of Representatives.

House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said Friday that representatives are in a "wait and see mode" to see what comes out of the Senate.

Alabama is one of five states — along with Utah, Alaska, Hawaii, and Nevada — without a state lottery.

State voters in 1999 rejected a lottery proposed by then-Gov. Don Siegelman.

Former Gov. Robert Bentley in 2016 unsuccessfully proposed a state lottery in response to a state budget crisis.

The Alabama Senate approved a lottery bill that year, but the support fell apart after the House of Representatives added language limiting the games to paper tickets so that video lottery terminals would not be allowed.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319704

Reported Deaths: 7369
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22276267
Hinds20677421
Harrison18407317
Rankin13880282
Jackson13689248
Madison10249224
Lee10056176
Jones8464167
Forrest7827153
Lauderdale7260242
Lowndes6509150
Lamar634888
Lafayette6310121
Washington5420137
Bolivar4837133
Panola4669110
Oktibbeha466098
Pearl River4604147
Marshall4573105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425373
Union415777
Monroe4155135
Neshoba4061179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386687
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3369111
Alcorn325972
Scott320174
Yazoo314171
Adams307486
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298189
Tippah291968
Prentiss283861
Leake271974
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George252051
Newton248663
Tishomingo231568
Winston229981
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Clay187854
Stone187833
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135347
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127138
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108033
Tunica108027
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69532
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548323

Reported Deaths: 11288
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809531565
Mobile42066826
Madison35663525
Tuscaloosa26162458
Shelby25595254
Montgomery25081612
Baldwin21839313
Lee16265176
Calhoun14718325
Morgan14626285
Etowah14171363
Marshall12449230
Houston10764288
Elmore10295213
Limestone10182157
St. Clair10160251
Cullman9941201
Lauderdale9596249
DeKalb8967189
Talladega8458184
Walker7335280
Autauga7230113
Blount6944139
Jackson6922113
Colbert6414140
Coffee5627127
Dale4929114
Russell454941
Chilton4472116
Franklin431083
Covington4273122
Tallapoosa4136155
Escambia401780
Chambers3726124
Dallas3607156
Clarke352961
Marion3242106
Pike314078
Lawrence3129100
Winston283572
Bibb268464
Geneva257581
Marengo250665
Pickens236862
Barbour234659
Hale226878
Butler224071
Fayette218162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph187044
Monroe179341
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155657
Cleburne153244
Lamar146537
Lowndes142054
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh113430
Coosa111429
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93534
Choctaw62025
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