- AL HB 315 is a new sports betting bill that has appeared in Alabama.
- This is the very first sports betting bill for the state.
- Multiple attempts to legalize any form of gambling has failed in Alabama.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A brand new sports betting bill has appeared for the first time in Alabama on Tuesday.
Representative John Rogers has introduced AL HB 315 to Alabama’s House of Representatives. This bill aims to legalize sports betting in Alabama and it gives the details on what needs to be done for it to be successful in the Yellowhammer State.
What The Bill Will Do
There are a large number of things that this bill sets out to do for Alabama. One of the key actions is this bill will create and authorize the Alabama Sports Wagering Commission.
This commission is being created due to the fact that there are no authorities for gambling in Alabama. The state doesn’t have any casinos and there isn’t even a state lottery. There are tribal casinos but they aren’t allowed to offer table games. If Alabama passes this bill, the Sports Wagering Commission would be Alabama’s first gambling authority.
To fund this commission, the state is going to tax the gross revenue of sports betting at a 10% rate. This money taxed will go directly into the Alabama Sports Wagering Fund. It doesn’t seem like the tax for sports betting will go into anything else.
Where To Place Your Sports Bets
Because there are no state-licensed casinos or lotteries in Alabama, the bill says that sportsbooks will open in Alabama’s pari-mutual tracks. The only issue with this is that there is only on track in Alabama that has live racing; a greyhound racing track in Birmingham. It is currently unclear whether or not the bill will allow for sports betting in their simulcast tracks.
One of the more likely ways that people in Alabama will place their bets is through their mobile device or on the internet. AL HB 315 authorizes sports betting to be done through a mobile device anywhere in the state. The bill says that the mobile platform will be done through a “licensed gaming facility,” but it doesn’t indicate exactly who will run the app.
Sports Betting Is A Longshot In Alabama
Alabama sports betting has a very tough hill to climb before it can be legalized. The Yellowhammer State has stood a strong stance against any form of gambling expansion. It has been almost 20 years since the state’s residents have been able to vote to authorize a state lottery.
There is also the fact that daily fantasy sports (DFS) is also considered illegal in Alabama. DFS operators like DraftKings and FanDuel had to pull out of the state back in 2016. Any attempt to legalize and regulate DFS has failed since then.
Alabama has even restricted what the tribes can offer in their casinos. The tribal casinos are not allowed to offer table games, they can only offer bingo machines. The only reason why these casinos are allowed to exist is that they are in tribal lands.
But this doesn’t mean that sports betting in Alabama is doomed to fail. The fact of the matter is pari-mutual racing is allowed in Alabama. If lawmakers can convince opponents that sportsbooks can coexist with pari-mutual races in these tracks, then there is a chance that sportsbooks can open in the near future. There isn’t a lot of time to debate the bill as the legislature dismisses in June.