Gambling Legislation

Gambling expansion in Alabama continues to be a hot topic

Gambling expansion in Alabama continues to be a hot topic

Some lawmakers hope to make another push for legalized gambling

Alabama gambling regulation looks to have a new ally. Still, the thought of legalizing in a state without regulated gaming seems more appealing than the process needed to make it happen.

Alabama Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nathaniel Ledbetter, believes a lack of regulated gambling will lead to an increase in illegal gaming. However, addressing that problem may be quite difficult.

Ledbetter is aware of a lot of illegal gambling in Alabama and sees the connection between a lack of regulated gambling and illicit activity, speaking about it during a recent interview with PBS.

"I think the most shocking thing to me, we talked about this last time, that there are like 30 illegal operations. By the time we got through, somebody said well, maybe there's 70 now. One county has 67. What we're finding is that just about every county has got some illegal gaming operation. The problem with it is now, where we're at today, if we do not do something about it and regulate it, then all we are doing is enabling illegal gambling".

Ledbetter has at least one ally in the upper chamber whose voice has significant influence. Sen. Greg Albritton has been a vocal advocate of gaming regulation and has filed legislation to legalize it in the past two legislative sessions.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has also expressed that she would like to see proposals from the legislature but hasn’t said whether she would support gaming regulation. She wants state residents to make the final decision to legalize gambling.

Legislation will likely see floor votes in 2024 in the Alabama House. But how lawmakers will vote is still unclear.

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