Alabama House Approves Lottery and Casino Plan, Excludes Sports Betting

"Alabama House Approves Lottery and Casino Plan, Excludes Sports Betting"

Montgomery, AL: The Alabama House of Representatives approved a compromise plan for a lottery and 10 casinos on Tuesday night. This is one step closer to the law going to the people for a final vote.

There would be no table games in seven of the ten casinos; they would only have slot machines. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians would run the other three, which are full-fledged casinos, on tribe land.

72 to 29 votes in favor of HB151, a constitutional change, in the House. To pass, it needed at least 63 votes. Soon after, by a vote of 70-29, the House passed HB152, the second bill in the package that lays out some of the plan’s details.

The next step for the two bills is to go to the Senate. If they agree with them, they could put a suggested constitutional amendment on the ballot for an Aug. 20 special election.

At first, it wasn’t clear when the Senate would look at the bills. The Senate took a break Tuesday night, not long after the House passed the bills, so that the Republican and Democratic caucuses could talk about the legislation. They didn’t say when they would be back.

The last time people in Alabama could vote on a raffle was in 1999.

With the money from the lottery going to education, the House-approved alternative plan allows for one. In seven places—what used to be greyhound tracks in Jefferson, Mobile, Macon, and Greene counties and what are now bingo rooms in Greene, Houston, and Lowndes counties—gambling on electronic games of chance is legal. Blackjack and craps would not be available.

HB152 says that electronic games of chance are “electronic gambling machines,” which can include legal slot machines, pachinko, video lottery terminals, video poker, electronic bingo machines, and historical horse racing machines.

As part of the plan, the governor will talk to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians about making a deal for gambling to happen on their land in Atmore, Wetumpka, and Montgomery. All kinds of casino-style games that are done in real life could be that.

The Senate’s plan did not include sports betting, but the House’s plan did.

The plan calls for making the Alabama Gambling Commission, which will be in charge of enforcing gambling rules across the whole state. As of September 2026, it would get rid of 17 local changes that let people play bingo in certain counties. It would also stop local changes from happening in the future.

A new gambling commission would oversee standard paper bingo and raffles.

Three representatives and three senators in a conference committee passed HB151 and HB152 earlier Tuesday. After the House and Senate passed very different versions of the plan in February and March, the conference committee was set up.

This is one of only five states that doesn’t have a lottery. Alabama’s four neighboring states all have lotteries.

Representative Arnold Mooney, a Republican from Shelby County, spoke out against the bills. He said they would make poverty and other problems worse, in part because gaming is so addicting.

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