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House Majority Ldr Ledbetter: Addressing gambling in the near-term ‘would be an uphill battle’

Earlier this month, the Alabama Track Owners Association released a commercial urging people to contact lawmakers and encourage them to pass a comprehensive gambling bill.

Historically, the Alabama Legislature has avoided sweeping initiatives in the final year of a quadrennium, which makes the outlook for the future of gaming in Alabama murky.

During an appearance on Thursday’s broadcast of Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” State House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) acknowledged those challenges and said with other issues yet to be resolved, including corrections, a gaming bill in the short-term would be an “uphill battle.”

“I think with everything we’ve got on our plate right now that would be an uphill battle,” he said. “I’m not saying it’s not — but we just talked about one major issue that we’ve been trying to address since 2016. We’re maybe at the threshold of doing something with it. I know this gaming issue has been on the table for a number of years.”

“To be honest with you, last year we just ran out of time,” Ledbetter continued. “I mean, we got the bill later in the House, and there were a lot of changes the Governor wanted to make, and the House wanted to make. And the time that was done, time had just run away.”

“I think going forward, the discussion will continue,” he added. “How soon it will come up, I can’t say because I don’t know what the feeling is in the Senate.”

Ledbetter added the Senate, House and the executive branch would have to be sitting at the same table at the same time to get legislation passed on gambling.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.