The Alabama Senate on Tuesday night passed a constitutional amendment called the lottery bill along with three companion bills permitting lottery and gambling in the state. As per the constitutional amendment 23-9, the state would make provisions for simple lotteries and casino-style gambling for the people. After the Senate’s approval, the constitutional amendment has to be approved by the State House of Representatives. Post this, Alabama voters will need to make a final call on the bill’s final draft, and only then will the bill become effective. Besides the SB319 legislation, three companion bills dealing with the game were included by the Senate, and they are SB309, SB310, and SB311.
According to the bill plan, gaming operations would be set up in six locations along with a gaming commission. The gaming operations would be located in Mobile County, Jefferson County, Greene County, Macon County, Jackson County, Houston County, and DeKalb County.
Bobby Singleton, Senate Minority Leader, said that Alabamans have long wanted this, and they have the right to vote on gaming. If the people can play casino games in their home state instead of spending the money to go to other states for gambling and lottery, the state can generate huge revenues. The state can further use this money to bring development in the areas of education and healthcare.
As per a report by the Governor’s Study Group on Gambling, the state of Alabama will be able to generate annual revenue of $710 million after the new lottery bill – SB319 becomes effective. Apart from this, the first companion bill, SB309, outlines the Alabama Lottery Corporation’s duties to set up a lottery trust fund. With this fund, college scholarships would be provided. The second one, SB310, states that a gaming commission would be set up, in addition to broadband implementation, and set up of mental health units as well as hospitals in rural areas. The third companion bill, SB311, deals with the directives to prohibit illegal & criminal activities.