Gambling Bill Fails in Alabama Senate By Two Votes


The Alabama Senate has voted down a bill that would have created a constitutional amendment to legalize gambling in the state.

The bill got 19 votes in favor and 13 against, but needed 21 votes to pass due to it being a proposed constitutional amendment.

The bill originally had five locations for planned casinos. Before a final vote was counted, two more casinos were added to the bill in Houston and Lowndes Counties.

The proposal would have authorized a state lottery, multiple casinos locations plus a compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians for casino games at their three sites. If the bill had made it out of the legislature, it would still have had to be approved by Alabama voters.

Over the last two decades, gambling legislation in Alabama has failed because of both conservative opposition to gambling and a turf war over who could have electronic gambling machines or casino games.

The closest Alabama has come was in 1999, when a proposed lottery was put to a vote of the people, but was defeated.

This is how our local senators voted:

Sen. Will Barfoot (R) – no
Sen. William Beasley (D) – yes
Sen. Clyde Chambliss (R) – no
Sen. Kirk Hatcher (D) – yes
Sen. Jimmy Holley (R) – yes
Sen. Malika Sanders-Fortier – did not vote
Sen. Bobby Singleton (D) – yes
Sen. Tom Whatley (R) – yes

Gov. Kay Ivey released this statement:

“Today’s vote by the Alabama Senate confirms more work must be done, because this issue is too important to not get it right. No doubt gambling is complex and challenging, but I remain committed to giving the people of Alabama the final say. I also believe the work of my Study Group last year can continue to be helpful in finding the right path as we move forward.

“Should the Legislature wish to continue discussions on this topic, I stand ready and willing to engage.”

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

Categories: Montgomery Metro, News, South Alabama, Statewide, Troy, West Alabama