Lottery Bill Once Again Heading to Alabama Lawmakers

Once again, a bill regarding the lottery in Alabama is heading to state lawmakers.

Alabama is one of six states in the country that have not yet legalized the lottery within the state. In 2000, Alabamians voted against the lottery and it has not yet reappeared on state ballots.

After Mississippi approved the lottery last year, Alabama is now surrounded on all sides by states offering Powerball, Mega Millions, scratch-offs and more. That means Alabamians who want to play are taking their money to other states.

“You know the lottery and the Powerball just did a billion dollars each within the last couple of weeks, and so we want Alabama to be a part of that, that revenue gain that’s coming into our state,” said Alabama Sen. Bobby Singleton. “And we think that we can be able to utilize those dollars to do good for the citizens of the state of Alabama.”

Singleton said several Alabama senators plan on introducing another lottery bill during the 2021 Legislative Session. Last year, any hopes for new legislation petered out after the legislative session was cut short because of COVID-19.

“So what you will see is a comprehension bill that will start in the Senate and move through the House,” said Singleton. “We think that it’s a good bill, and I think that we are ready to vote on it.”

Singleton said the bill, sponsored by Alabama Sen. Del Marsh, will include provisions for the lottery, along with casino games and sports betting within the state.

Gambling revenue would go toward the state’s general and education funds.

“Every child who wants to go to college can then be able to attend a two-year or four-year school in the state of Alabama,” Singleton said. “I think that it’s really aggressive and it’s something that we need to do while other states around us are capturing all the dollars that are coming from Alabama.”

For the bill to pass, it needs 21 votes in the Senate and 63 votes in the state House. After legislators’ approval, the bill would be up for a vote among Alabama residents.