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Why were there no gambling bills this session?

The Legislature introduced and passed dozens of bills addressing an abundance of issues — except gambling. 

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The Legislative Session for 2023 is set to end today after the Legislature introduced bills addressing an abundance of issues — except gambling. 

The only gaming bill that was introduced during the session was by Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, with SB324 which only applied to Greene County. The bill was sent back to a committee two weeks ago, effectively meaning it is dead.

House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter, R-Rainsville, appeared on Alabama Public Television’s Capitol Journal and discussed the gambling issue with Todd Stacy. Ledbetter said that due to 31 new members coming into the legislature he “told them up front we weren’t moving any legislation on gaming.”

But Ledbetter did say that they would look at that issue on gaming because of the lack of regulations or gaming commission. 

“We’ve already got gaming in Alabama. The problem with it right now is because we don’t have regulations, we don’t have a gaming commission,” Ledbetter said. “So, we’ve made accomplishments on long-term issues, and I think gaming is one of them. I think it has got to be fixed. It’s broken. Just letting it fly in the wind and not have any regulations and nothing going on, I think the state has got to look at doing something to fix it. At the end of the day, it is the people of Alabama who have to vote to do something.”

Gaming in the state is currently restricted to facilities owned by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, parimutuel tracks and draft fantasy sports.

Patrick Darrington is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].

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