Alabama lottery bill advances to Senate

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By Lydia Nusbaum, Posted on WSFA

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) – A lottery proposal is heading to the full Alabama Senate for a vote after it passed 6-5 in the Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee Tuesday.

Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Atmore, is the sponsor of the bill that would legalize a paper-based lottery. If the legislature approves, it would go to a statewide vote.

Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston, said this proposal is a “clean” lottery.

“In the meetings I’ve had with caucus members they seem to want a simple bill. My meetings with House members, give us a simple version. To me that’s the most simple version we’ve got,” Marsh said.

According to the bill, it does not allow for video lottery terminals, casino-style gaming, or slot machines. The bill defines video lottery terminals as any electronic interactive game, machine, or device with a video screen and button, keys and a keyboard.

Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, said this concerned him and that he did not want this bill to make the current machines at Greenetrack illegal.

He offered an amendment, which the committee approved, that would make all forms of bingo and pari-mutuel wagering excluded from the definition of video lottery terminal.

“What we want to do is give a protection so that I can continue to protect the jobs that we have in my community,” Singleton said.

“I think we need to really think this through and do a complete lottery that will grow and allow us to save the most amount of dollars that we possibly can for the state,” Singleton said.

It’s been 20 years since Alabamians got a chance to vote on a lottery. In 1999, voters said “No” by a vote of 54 percent to 46 percent.

Here is the vote count in the Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee:

Yes

Sen. Billy Beasley

Sen. Chris Elliott

Sen. Garland Gudger

Sen. Andrew Jones

Sen. Randy Price

Sen. Del Marsh

No

Sen. David Burkette

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