MONTGOMERY — Attorney General Steve Marshall said on Friday he was pleased that a new lottery and gambling package didn't pass this week.

The Senate failed to pass the constitutional amendment on Tuesday by a single vote, but the proposal could come back again in the last three days of the session for another vote.

If passed, the amendment would establish a lottery, require the Governor to enter compact negotiations with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PCI) and authorize seven electronic casino locations at racetracks in Greene, Jefferson, Macon and Mobile Counties and bingo hall locations in Greene, Houston, and Lowndes Counties. PCI locations in Montgomery, Wetumpka, and Atmore would also be able to have the same offerings. The enabling legislation also increases illegal gambling offenses from a misdemeanor to a felony.

The constitutional amendment would have to be approved by a vote of the people on August 20.

Marshall has said he opposes gambling expansion efforts, and the only change he'd support to Alabama's gambling laws is increasing the criminal penalties for engaging in illegal gambling activities. 

"We need to create a reason why people shouldn't do it and that's an easy way to begin to be able to address that," Marshall told 1819 News.

He continued, "On the gambling side, obviously, we've been opposed to it from the beginning. We have the ability if they'll enhance punishments to be able to do enforcement even better and put a deterrence for folks that want to engage in illegal activity, but you know we're pleased that it didn't pass the package as a whole."

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