egislators have introduced Bill 315 in the Alabama House, which would enable seven locations in the state to host legalized sports betting. The proposed law brought forward by representatives Mike Rogers and Mary Moore permits professional and collegiate sports gambling to occur inside the state.
The bill would also create the Alabama Sports Wagering Commission in order to regulate the betting market at seven locations already established around the state.
The Commission would be in charge of overseeing sports wagering at the seven locations, with the establishment to be charged $100,000 licensing fee that would last for five years, WSN reports.
HB315 sets the tax rate at 10% for all adjusted gross sports revenue and the tax is collected by the state weekly.
On the heels of a similar bill that was introduced in Louisiana, Alabama looks to join the handful of states that have already passed legislation for both onsite and mobile sports wagering.
The Alabama Legislative Session ends on June 18th, giving lawmakers less than 11 weeks to turn the sports wagering measure into law.
After several attempts to get a daily fantasy sports bill to Governor Kay Ivey’s desk for signature, legislators believe passing a sports betting bill will not be an easy task.
In 2016, attorney general Luther Strange drove companies like FanDuel and DraftKings out of the state with a series of cease-and-desist letters.
At a press conference, Strange said, "As Attorney General, it is my duty to uphold Alabama law, including the laws against illegal gambling. Daily fantasy sports operators claim that they operate legally under Alabama law. However, paid daily fantasy sports contests are in fact illegal gambling under Alabama law."
The denial of the DFS bill left Alabama as one of only nine states that do not allow some form of online fantasy sports in the United States.
Critics in the state that argue against sports betting lean on the same reasons that most groups that oppose gambling use as their platform.
Those reasons include a fear of addiction to the populace, a consensus rejection of gambling by faith-based groups, and the fact that it simply isn’t worth the headache for the state for the small amount of revenue it generates.
For residents of Alabama who love sports betting, it looks like they’ll continue to be forced to drive to neighboring Mississippi, where wagering on games has been legal since last year.