MONTGOMERY — Comprehensive gambling legislation sailed through the House last week, but the Senate isn’t in a rush yet to advance the proposals.

House Bill 151 (HB151) repeals all constitutional amendments allowing gambling in certain parts of the state and removes the state's constitutional gambling prohibition. House Bill 152 (HB152) authorizes a series of provisions legalizing casino gaming in specific locations, a statewide lottery, and online sports betting.

State Sen. Will Barfoot (R-Pike Road) told reporters on Tuesday he has issues with the gambling legislation in its current form.

“I started to review that over the weekend. It’s about 140 pages plus the (Constitutional Amendment) that’s about 10 pages,” Barfoot said. “I certainly think it will be an uphill battle for that piece of legislation to pass in the format that it is now. I’ve heard some individuals, members talk about that this gambling issue has been around for a long time and will continue to be until it is solved. I do believe that that is the case. We’ve certainly got to get our hands wrapped around that. What that looks like, I don’t know. There’s some enforcement legislation in that enabling act. I think that’s important. There’s some issues with the bill, though, that I think other members as well as myself have in its current form, so we’ll see where that goes.”

Barfoot continued, “It’s better for me to keep those to myself at this point and try to work to try to fix those. I don’t want to create any division. I think this is something we need to look at and look at very carefully and slowly and I think the members of the Senate will do that.”

State Sen. Andrew Jones (R-Centre) also told 1819 News on Tuesday, “I have a number of items I'd like to see addressed in the bill before it can earn my vote.” 

State Senate President Pro-Tem Greg Reed (R-Jasper) said at a Tuesday morning event at the Business Council of Alabama, “We're gonna spend some time on it. It's important. As you've heard me say, and I say to my members often, when you listen to everybody's input, you wind up with a better product. So we're going to do just that on this particular issue.” 

“The Senate is going to deal with this particular topic and we're going to deal with it as we always do – on our timing, in our way, exactly what we think is best to be able to move this issue forward. It's been one that's been hanging around the whole time I've been here,” Reed said. “And I'm hoping that we're going to be in a place to continue to deal with it in a wise and efficient way. You can stay tuned on that.”

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