Gambling in Alabama May Bring $700 Million, New Study Says
- According to a report by a study group assembled by Governor Kay Ivey, expanded gambling in Alabama would bring more than $700 million for the state
- If the state legalizes sports betting, casinos, and lottery, the expected potential is between $510 million to $710 million annually
- Considering that there is no dedicated gambling entity, it may be up to Alabama’s state government to control, administer and oversee gambling activities
Expanding gambling operations in Alabama may bring more than $700 million annually, says a newly released report. Governor Kay Ivey assembled the workgroup which revealed that besides annual revenue, gambling operations would also create some 19,000 workplaces.
Gambling in Alabama May Bring Benefits for the State, a Study Says
A study group on gambling in Alabama, assembled by Governor Kay Ivey, revealed its report, outlining that gambling operations in the state may bring more than $700 million. The group was assembled back in February, but released its report only last week.
According to the 876-page report, lottery, sports betting, and casinos in the state may bring approximately $510 million to $710 million in annual revenue. Furthermore, it is expected that some 19,000 new jobs would be created in the sector. The report also provides a breakdown of the expected potential total of $510 million to $710 million:
- It is expected that the lottery would bring $200 million to $300 million
- Some $300 million to $400 million are expected from casino gaming
- Sports betting is expected to contribute with $10 million
The study group consisted of more than 10 people with various professions like local and state public servants, law enforcement, successful business owners, and more. To enable gambling in the state, Alabama voters would need to approve a constitutional amendment that would expand gambling in the state. With that in mind, thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling on PASPA, it is up to Alabama’s legislature, governor, and voters to expand gambling in the state.
Although there are three tribal casinos in the state in Wetumpka, Montgomery, and Atmore run by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, currently, the state doesn’t have a lottery. Bingo is also restricted to dog tracks in Alabama and can be found in an electronic version.
Regulatory Framework Is Yet to Be Established
Commenting on the subject, Governor Ivey said that she believes that the research will be “will be pivotal as gambling policies are being considered, debated and potentially voted on“. She added that the gambling act is an opportunity, which cannot be accomplished solely by a governor or solely by the Legislature. The Governor added that the final saying on gambling belongs to the people of Alabama and if she has any recommendation regarding a course of action, she would share it in full transparency with Alabamians and in collaboration with the Alabama Legislature.
“It is incumbent on us to work together to provide the citizens of Alabama their opportunity to determine the future of gambling in Alabama.”Governor Kay Ivey
Focusing on the report, we see that it mentions an effective system of gambling that will maximize the benefits realized by the state. Consequently, such a system would reduce costs associated with gambling and ensure fair and efficient enforcement of the gambling laws.
The study acknowledges that currently, Alabama is lacking “a dedicated statewide regulatory entity” which would accomplish such ideal gambling characteristics. As a result, if the Alabamians decide to expand legal gambling, the function for control, administering, and overseeing gambling activities may be a new function of Alabama’s state government. According to the study, since Alabama is one of the last states to establish a state lottery, it will have the “benefit of considering lessons-learned and implementing best practices from other states“.