Gambling Legislation

Alabama lawmaker doesn’t expect gambling expansion in the next four years

Alabama lawmaker doesn't expect gambling expansion in the next four years

A state senator is pessimistic about the future of casinos in the state

While an Alabama House committee discusses passing a bill to put legalized gambling and a state lottery on the ballot for state voters, other legislators, such as Senator Arthur Orr, think it’s still unlikely.

Orr talked about the subject on Friday on “The Dale Jackson Show” on local media outlet WVNN. “I don’t see an expansion of gaming in this quadrennium,” Orr contended, “based on the players that are there now and based on the issues that we have and the money that we have.”

Orr believes the only gaming bill that could pass would have to crack down on illegal gaming in the state. “I don’t know what the House committee that’s been looking into this is going to come with as far as legislation or a proposal or whatever,” he stated. “One of the things that could happen is ramping up the penalties for illegal gaming in the state. That might be a possibility that could pass, and we’ll just have to see.”

While some recent proposals have been made that funds from legalized gambling and the lottery could be used to subsidize expanding Medicaid or add more schools in the state, Orr thinks that it wouldn’t survive in the current legislature. “Medicaid expansion, several hundred million it costs every year. I just don’t see it today.”

However, Orr acknowledged that things can still change once the session starts. “Today it’s unlikely,” he claimed. “That can certainly change, but based on what I know and as we’ve talked about, I am not in the smoky back room of the pro-gambling groups. I’m a little bit at a distance as far as what they have to say.”

“But those that are, from what I hear from them, it’s not really getting a lot of legs for the 2024 session.”

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