Is Sports Betting Legal in Alabama?
The state of Alabama is in desperate need of more revenue, collecting the lowest amount of taxes per capita in the country.
Alabama does not feature a state lottery, and has not voted on one since 1999. The only casinos in the state are owned by local Indian tribes and therefore do not pay taxes. There are four greyhound tracks, though far from their former successful selves.
Alabama State Representative Paul Lee (R-Dothan) thinks there is a chance a bill to legalize sports betting will be considered in 2019, although he believes it is a long-shot to pass. With neighboring Mississippi one of the early states to legalize sports betting, the majority of the potential revenue that could be used in Alabama, will instead go towards government and businesses in Mississippi.
Alabama is in the top 15 in the country in unemployment rate (4.1%). A potential legalization of sports betting has the potential to open thousands of jobs across the state. There is a $300 billion dollar a year sports betting market in the United States, with an estimated 95% of it done illegally. With over $300 million in estimated revenue waiting to be unearthed, there seems to be no momentum heading towards the legalization of sports betting in Alabama in the near future.
News Stories About Betting in Alabama
Editor-in-Chief Ty West of the Birmingham Business Journal penned a May 29, 2018 editorial on sports betting legalization.
Elizabeth Lane of ABC 33/40 in Birmingham noted that legislation was introduced before PASPA was struck down, but it failed. She also spoke with a lawmaker and got his thoughts, which were not overly positive.
College football is big business in the southeast, as we know. Greg Byrne and Allen Greene weighed in for Al.com on legalization and the steps that those two universities and the SEC are taking.
Sports betting analyst Danny Sheridan had a lot to say shortly after PASPA was struck down, noting how much Alabamians like to gamble and his pessimism on how quickly the legislature will move.
As one of six states without a state lottery, it would be a surprise to see sports betting legalized in Alabama anytime soon, if ever.