Lawmakers in Alabama are currently working to gain more revenue from the gambling industry. This week, the Poarch Creek tribe revealed plans for two brand new Alabama casinos in the town of Huntsville. State officials are now taking a closer look at these casino plans.
Many states are currently revamping their casino regulations. Alabama may be the next to add several new gambling venues. Today, we’re going to take a look at what the Poarch Creek tribe has planned.
Let’s get into it!
Alabama’s Gambling Laws, Explained
For many years, Alabama had some of the strictest gambling laws in the country. Officials here made it illegal to partake in almost any form of gambling. In the late 1980s, things began to change in this state.
In 1988, the Supreme Court passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. This made it legal for Native American tribes to operate land-based casinos on sovereign land. Before long, several tribes in Alabama began pushing to open new gambling venues.
Today, there are several tribal casinos spread around the state. Most of them are hugely popular with locals and tourists from nearby states. No commercial casinos are allowed to operate here. It seems unlikely that any commercial casinos will be approved here in the near future.
Alabama still has not passed any laws to allow sports betting. Back in April of 2019, a 44-page bill was introduced here that would allow for wagering on professional and college sports. Lawmakers here are still waiting on approval for this bill.
Tribes in Alabama continue to push for new gambling venues. The Poarch Creek tribe has just presented a set of plans to open two new Alabama casinos.
Plans to Open New Alabama Casinos Are Presented
Over the past few years, several tribes in Alabama have presented plans to open new casinos. Many tribal leaders feel these additional gambling venues will help to bring the state millions of dollars in additional revenue every year. That’s the argument that the Poarch Creek tribe is making with their new casino plans.
This week, leaders of the tribe presented plans to open two new Alabama casinos in Huntsville. The tribe claims it will funnel $1 billion into these new venues. Not everyone feels this is the fairest option, though.
Alabama Senator Gerald Dial believes that a bidding process for any new casinos needs to take place.
“Once you pass a constitutional amendment, you can’t say the Poarch Creek Indians get the casino. You’ve got to have a process where you give anyone an opportunity. If someone from Las Vegas wanted to build one in Huntsville, they’d have the same opportunities,” he said.
Some are also concerned about a monopoly-like situation forming right now. The Poarch Creek tribe already operates several casinos in the state. Lawmakers want to ensure that the industry stays competitive for other tribes here.
It’s still unclear whether or not these new Alabama casinos will open up. The Poarch Creek tribe is certainly pushing hard.
A New Sports Betting Bill is Presented in Alabama
As we already mentioned, Alabama does not currently allow sports betting. That may change soon, though. This week, a new sports betting bill was presented to the state and some feel that 2020 is the year this industry finally opens up here.
Members of Alabama’s House of Representatives are now set to review this new legislation. If approved, land-based and online sports wagering will be approved. The bill, called HB 336, also details the tax structure set in place.
It’s extremely exciting news for sports fans here. Many believe that Alabama could become one of the country’s next major sports gambling hubs. Whether or not that’s true remains to be seen.
Several nearby states are looking into sports gambling legislation, as well. That includes Georgia, which is known for having some extremely strict laws towards gambling.
Many states in the Southern US are beginning to expand their gambling industries. Soon, several new Alabama casinos may open here.
Stay tuned for updates on this situation over the next few months!