Alabama already has “bingo”, horse racing, greyhound racing, and according to The New York Times, we are ready for more gambling any second now.
Maybe it will be a lottery — both candidates for governor support a vote on that. Maybe it will be sports gaming, because there will probably be some folks yelling “Roll Tide Roll” or “War Damn Eagle” from Mississippi this fall when that state allows people to place bets on those games.
Attitudes are surely softening as GOP candidates are publicly speaking on behalf of some form of gambling, Republican State Rep. Parker Moore told the Decatur Daily.
“The majority of the people I’ve spoken to in my district seem to be in favor of it, so I would push for it,” Moore said. “I think everyone’s pretty much in agreement in my district that we want a lottery. It’s just a matter of where (the revenue) needs to go that will benefit the most people.”
Why this matters:
Don’t tell people the lottery isn’t gambling, it clearly is. Alabama hasn’t had a vote on the lottery since 1999 and it went down, barely. That vote took place almost 20 years ago.
If pro-gambling proponents can find the right format (lottery, table games, sports gaming) and the right place to spend the money (schools, scholarships, general fund), they may be able to get this passed.
If you find the right plan, you can probably flip the roughly one person out of every 25 that you need to get a YES on a referendum, if the grim reaper hasn’t changed those numbers already. But politicians should be wary if they are going to go down this path — they are probably only going to get one bite at this gambling apple.