Under gaming legislation being considered by Alabama lawmakers, the state’s voters will decide whether to allow a lottery, casinos and sports betting. If approved, lottery retailers would get 7% of every lottery ticket sold.
The constitutional amendment and enabling legislation would allow a state lottery, casino-style gaming, limited sports betting, traditional raffles as well as traditional paper bingo in Alabama and prohibit all other forms of gaming.
On a 70-32 vote Thursday, the Alabama House approved HB151, the constitutional amendment, which requires voter approval. The final vote on HB152, the enabling legislation, was 67-31 with one abstention. Both pieces of legislation now go to the Alabama Senate. If passed in the upper chamber and signed the governor, the constitutional amendment will be on the November ballot. Gov. Kay Ivey has repeatedly said, “Now is the time for Alabama voters to have another say on this issue.” Alabama voters rejected a proposed lottery in 1999.
Alabama is one of five states without lotteries. HB152 would establish the Alabama Lottery Corp., led by a seven-member board. The board would determine the type of lottery games offered, sale price of tickets, number and value of prizes and make decisions on other policies affecting how the lottery would operate. The games could include multi-state lotteries and instant games.
The lottery board will recommend criteria for the selection of lottery retailers to the Alabama Gaming Commission. The bill says the criteria should include financial responsibility; location and security of place of business or activity; character, integrity and reputation; and being current in filing of all applicable tax returns and paying all applicable taxes, interest and penalties owed to the state and local governments.
Originally, the enabling legislation contained a provision for lottery retailers to receive a 1% bonus for cashed winning lottery tickets. The bill approved Thursday instead specifies that each contracted lottery retailer would receive 7% of the proceeds from each lottery ticket sold.
For more details about the qualifications and responsibilities of lottery retailers, start at §41-30-417 on Page 89 of HB152 and read through Page 97, including penalties for selling lottery tickets to anyone younger than 18.
For more details on the other provisions of the gaming legislation, read these new stories:
- Lottery, casino bill passes key vote in Alabama House (apnews.com via aldailynews.com)
- Alabama House approves legislation establishing lottery, casino gambling, sports wagering (alabamareflector.com)
- Alabama House approves plan for lottery, casinos, sports betting (al.com)
- Senate sponsor of gaming bills optimistic about outlook (al.com)
This article is part of the Alabama Retail Report, a communication for Alabama Retail Association members. Not a member? Join us!
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