Alabama Lawmakers Propose Sports Betting Bill which may just make sports betting legal within their borders. State Representative Mike Rogers and Mary Moore took the first step by introducing Bill 315 in the house of representative. Thus, this bill would make gambling on professional and college sports legal in the state.
Furthermore, Bill 315 also includes the creation of a regulatory body to oversee the sports betting market in Alabama. If the bill passes, the regulatory body would be known as the Alabama Sports Wagering Commission. In addition, the bill would also include online sports betting.
According to the sports betting bill it would allow sports betting in 7 locations. Furthermore, it would charge a $100,000 licensing fee and is renewable every 5 years. One of the challenges of the bill passing this year is that it must be done before June 18, 2019. This is because according to gambling news websites, the Alabama Legislative Session ends on that date.
A Tough Challenge for Proponents of Legal Sports Betting in Alabama
At the moment, sports bettors in Alabama need to go to Mississippi in order to bet on sports. This is because last year sports betting became legal in that state and already has sports betting software in place. Thus, several locations around the Alabama-Mississippi border are already taking sports bets from Alabamians.
Despite a market for sports betting, Alabama is not known for being friendly to gambling on sports. Three years, ago, Alabama threw out fantasy sports companies because they consider it sports betting. Therefore, gambling experts believe that the same arguments will be in effect to have the bill fail.
One of the biggest opponents against Bill 315 is the Alabama Citizens Action Program. In addition, this group receives support and funding from the Southern Baptist Coalition. They are intent on keeping sports wagering out of Alabama because they fear that it would increase gambling addiction.