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State Sen. Albritton: Senate gaming bill is ‘very, very restrictive’

State Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) said the Senate gambling bill ended up being markedly different than the version approved by the House. The legislation outlaws electronic bingo, features no Class III casinos, no sports betting, nor any form of electronic gambling.

“[W]ith the Senate passed version, what we have is a very, very restrictive allowance of gaming,” Albritton explained.

“The House has a much more expansive part of gaming. Not expansion, but expansive. Both have lotteries, they’re almost exactly alike as far as how that is set up. Both have requirements for a compact, same language, I think that was the case. And then you the existing sites that we have already …we’ve handled those very differently.”

Albritton discussed the gaming legislation Friday on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal.”


The lawmaker said the Senate version is adding much needed regulation to the current gambling sites that already exist without adding any new sites.

“[W]e capture what we have,” he said. “We regulate it and make it possible that we can enforce it by making them all the same.”

This bill proposes and amendment that authorizes pari-mutuel wagering, including wagering on historical racing computerized machines at the racetracks in Greene, Jefferson, Macon, and Mobile Counties, at an additional location in Greene County, and at the existing bingo halls in Houston County and the Town of White Hall in Lowndes County.

RELATED: Alabama Senate passes toned-down version of gambling legislation

Albritton also responded to critics who argue that there should be no legalized gambling in Alabama.

“My response is we’re already on that route,” he argued. “I don’t gamble. I don’t think it’s a good thing at all. I think it’s a very poor investment of money, but I do believe we have to control activities that the state’s required to control. And whether that be operations of any business that we put out there, or whether that be environmental or anything else.”

“Every business brings inherent difficulties and the same is true with gambling,” he added. “The best way to deal with that is to regulate it so you can control what those problems are, fund the problems that are out there so it can be fixed and repaired and moderated in some way, and then keep it in tow so that you know what’s happening and when.”

The state senator thinks it would be foolish to ignore the issue of gaming because it’s already occurring across the state.

“Right now we have gaming everywhere, in every country,” he said. “We have it under semi-authority and some no authority. We have it on the phones, we have it everywhere. We’ve got to find, and I hope we have, a means so that Alabama can exercise its duty in grabbing that industry and controlling it.”

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” weekdays 9-11 a.m. on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

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