(Population of 4.849 million as of 2014)
The Yellowhammer State, one of seven states without a statewide lottery, is conservative when it comes to gambling. Their gambling statutes, which are antiquated and do not specifically mention iGaming, make nearly all unregulated gambling a criminal offense.
Thanks to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, Indian tribes in Alabama were able to skirt state laws and establish some gaming. The state currently has three tribal facilities — Wind Creek Casino, Creek Casino Wetumpka, and Creek Casino Montgomery — though none are able to offer table games and poker.
In May of 2015, Legal U.S. Poker Sites reported that the Sen. President Pro Tem. Del Marsh pushed for a state lottery and allow racetracks the opportunity to have casino gaming. The Senate killed the bill even after it was continually publicized as being economically valuable for Alabama’s Treasury. Both the Alabama Jobs Coalition and the Alabama House Economic Development and Tourism Committee wanted consideration for a lottery bill.
A proposal in late 2016 for a constitutional amendment to allow a lottery in Alabama passed through the Senate and the House before dying in the Senate when amendment agreements couldn’t be made.
The House had proposed changes to the bill prior to approval that included an amendment to giving existing gambling facilities to offer the same games as the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, if the governor was able to create a compact between himself and the tribe, according to AL.com.
Alabama Sen. Jim McClendon, the bill’s sponsor, was voted against when he asked senators to give the bill final approval. Senate Democrats wanted to make changes in the bill and the Senate Republicans did not wish to set up a conference committee to deal with the differences.
McClendon told AL.com that he would continue to fight for a lottery bill that Alabamans can vote on.
When Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions was called before the Senate Judiciary Committee as Donald Trump’s choice for attorney general, he said that he opposed the 2011 DOJ memorandum that established the Wire Act when it was issued and plans to revise it.
Alabama remains one of the least likely states to consider iGaming at this point in time; in fact, if a federal bill were passed, Alabama may very well opt out of offering iGaming altogether.