HUNTSVILLE — A state lottery is alive and profitable in Alabama. According to State Senator Paul Sanford (R-Huntsville), the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has operated an illegal paid lottery since August 2012.
In 2012 and 2013, the DCNR submitted a rule change pursuant to the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act to the Legislative Council on which Senator Sanford sits. This request seeks to implement an alligator-hunting season that includes a random drawing for tags.
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources failed to disclose that they intend to charge $6 per chance to receive a tag to hunt alligator, multiple chances are available at $6 per new entry, and these entries are unlimited in quantity.
Senator Sanford believes Alabama State Government is operating outside the boundaries of the law by endorsing an illegal paid lottery in direct violation of the 1901 Alabama Constitution.
According to Article IV, Section 65, “The legislature shall have no power to authorize lotteries or gift enterprises for any purposes, and shall pass laws to prohibit the sale in this state of lottery or gift enterprise tickets, or tickets in any scheme in the nature of a lottery.”
“The state of Alabama should not charge citizens for the chance to hunt game. Hunting is a major contributor to the fabric of our state and a deep-rooted tradition for many Alabamians. It is deeply troubling that the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is willing to nickel and dime hunters for the opportunity to hunt alligators,” said Senator Sanford.
“I believe the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources should refund the illegally garnered monies to the thousands of hunters that the State took advantage of through the random tag ‘pay to play’ lottery. Paying for a hunting license is one thing, but paying for a chance at one is a ‘lottery’. I will use all means available to ensure that our State Government follows the Constitution.”
Senator Sanford, a lifelong hunter, represents Huntsville/Madison County (District 7) in the State Senate.