The Alabama House of Representatives passed legislation Tuesday allowing Alabamians to legally possess and collect pre-1960 non-electronic slot machines. This bill would not allow for the machines to be used for gambling purposes, just for “personal use.”
House Bill 135 is sponsored by state Rep. Chip Brown, R-Hollinger’s Island, who said: “There is a sub-culture that collects antique slot machines like they collect antique coke machines.”
State Rep. Chris Pringle said: “I looked at sponsoring this last year for a guy in my district, but gambling is illegal in Alabama. I think we ought to legalize this, but it is going to take a constitutional amendment.”
Games of chance, such as lotteries, sportsbooks and slot machines are illegal in Alabama under the 1901 Constitution, outside of charity bingo and some local carve-outs through local constitutional amendments in some counties to allow dog and horse racing as well as Indian gaming on tribal lands, which is regulated by federal law.
Possession of gambling devices, like electronic bingo machines or old-fashioned mechanical slot machines, is presently illegal and the machines can be seized by law enforcement.
HB135 passed the House of Representatives 88 to 0 and will now advance to the Alabama Senate for their consideration. It has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Brown carried this bill in 2020 as well, when it passed the House, but the session was interrupted by the COVID-19 crisis and the forced economic shutdown before the Senate could consider the bill.