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State Sen. Albritton: ‘It is past time’ to let Alabamians vote on gaming and lottery

A proposal to regulate gaming and establish a state education lottery on Wednesday gained approval from the Senate Tourism Committee.

Having met committee approval, State Sen. Greg Albritton’s (R-Atmore) proposal is expected to soon be brought to the Senate floor for consideration.

In a statement applauding the committee’s vote to advance his plan, Albritton proclaimed that it was “past time” to allow Alabamians to vote on lottery and gaming.

“Today’s vote was a strong, positive vote on both pieces of legislation, indicating the interest and determination of this body to move these two bills forward,” stated Albritton. “The familiarity of this topic was shown by the limited discussion on these bills. The Senate has approved similar efforts over the last few years, and it is past time to get this legislation through the House and send it to the people of Alabama for a vote.”

The proposal includes two separate pieces of legislation. The first is a bill that, if enacted, would place the issue of gaming and the establishment of a lottery on the ballot as a constitutional amendment for a vote of the citizenry. The second bill would implement the plan should voters opt to support the proposal.

Albritton’s plan includes the establishment of the Alabama Education Lottery, governed by a commission that would regulate and grant licenses to entities that operate casino-style games, sports betting, bingo and raffles.

If passed by the legislature and approved by voters, a single license would be awarded to only five casinos. The first four casinos would be authorized at Greenetrack in Greene County, Birmingham Race Course in Jefferson County, VictoryLand in Macon County and Mobile Greyhound Racing facility in Mobile County. The fifth and final casino would be located in either DeKalb County or Jackson County operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

In addition, two satellite casinos would be located in either Houston County or Lowndes County which would be authorized to operate a limited number of electronic gaming machines.

The proposal would levy a 20% tax on net gambling revenues for casinos and sports betting.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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