The casino's locations have become a roadblock
Due to the unique nature of politics in Alabama, Republicans needed Democratic support for any potential expansion of gambling. Since a faction of Republican lawmakers refused to endorse any gambling bill, most Republicans relied on a cross-party compromise. As a potential constitutional amendment, the measure required the support of three-fifths of the Representatives. Through the Senate, both parties cooperated with each other. However, everything fell apart in the lower chamber.
The accounts would create the Alabama Lottery and allow nine full-service casinos across the state of Yellowhammer. Despite the Senate purging, Representatives argued over the location of potential casinos. A particular problem was whether established bingo salons in the counties of Greene and Lowndes would have to be closed.
Politicians in two of the county's rural areas did not understand why their voters had to lose in order for others to win. In particular, County Lowndes has not been identified as one of the nine new casino locations. Without the bingo hall, the Gambling Expansion Act would actually cover the county's betting options.
Supporters of the Casino Act then accused the Republican leadership of baiting and switching.
Only lottery included in the recent Alabama Gambling Expansion Ditch
Republican casino sponsors and the lottery bill blamed the Democrats constantly asking for more concessions. Even after the amendment was approved by the Senate, the location of the casinos remained a moot point. However, when it became clear that the amendments were forcing their own members to reconsider, the Republican government withdrew the comprehensive bill.
Instead, management tried to self-authorize the lottery. Some Democrats all along believed that this was a republican plan. The Lottery Act is much more popular and less controversial than a wide-ranging reform, including casinos. The minority party had the impression that it had been given a heavily strained deal.
However, trying to bill the lottery backfired. Governor Kay Ivey made it clear her preferences for a thorough reform. Other Republicans disapproved of an attempt to speed up the bill, which they believed had not been fully issued. Therefore, the Chamber did not issue any gambling bill.
One last day remains in the 2021 Alabama Legislative Session. Maybe 17 is the last chance the House will reach a compromise between different factions. Any new bill would then have to pass quickly through the Senate. Residents of Alabama may still need to "go to Georgia to buy Daddy's lottery ticket." At least until next term meeting.
Brad Vanderhide is an avid blackjack player and sportsbook whose only rule is never to bet on or against your beloved Cleveland Browns. With a background in politics, law, and government compliance, his articles provide a general overview of the changing online gambling landscape. As a native of Ohio, Brad is looking forward to getting his state out of its way and opening up legalized sports betting and online casino games.