A lot has been written since the passage of HB151 and HB152 in the Alabama House. Much like the movie “Groundhog Day,” our governor and state legislators are once AGAIN seeking to legalize and expand gambling across our state. So, here are 20 good reasons — based on statistics and common sense — why Alabama citizens should resist this and ask the State House to focus on something more meaningful, such as giving tax cuts. 

20. As they would say on Jeopardy, “I’ll take ‘the Alabama Legislature sucks’ for $200, Alex.” 

19. According to the Alabama Policy Institute (API), 64% of Alabamians don’t want a casino in their neighborhood. This includes the House bill sponsor, Rep. Chris Blackshear (R-Phenix City). 

18. Online sports betting would turn Alabama smartphones into portable casinos placed in the hands of our pre-teens and teens, who are already very dedicated to TikTok indoctrination. 

17. Where there is gambling, there is also a statistical increase in crime, corruption, addiction, and mental health disorders. Aren’t our state representatives supposed to champion decreasing crime, less corruption, fewer addictions, and better mental health for their constituents? 

16. According to API’s 2023 Report on Gambling, “Problem gambling has the highest suicide rate of any addictive disorder, with one in five gambling addicts attempting suicide.” 

15. Did I mention the Alabama Legislature and its high rate of sucking at most everything it attempts to control? 

14. The Alabama government would receive a portion of every single dollar you would spend gambling, so greed is a big factor in their push for legalized gaming in our state. 

13. Politicians really love money (I Tim. 6:10) and don’t love you or me as much as you think. 

12. When Gov. Kay Ivey was our State Treasurer back in 2010, she wrote a riveting essay for the Christian Life Report expressing her opposition to legalized gambling. Gambling addictions affect job productivity, she wrote, further noting that gambling addicts are four times more likely to have mental health issues and are more likely to commit suicide. What changed? 

11. There is no amount of budgetary gain that would justify the harm that legalized gambling would have on individuals, marriages, families, and children. 

10. According to API, crime rates in general are higher among gambling addicts than non-gamblers. 

9. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has expressed serious concerns about the recent gambling legislation. He was particularly concerned about special interest groups influencing legislators and how legalized gambling solves none of Alabama’s economic issues. 

8. According to API, Ivey and the Alabama Legislature want to enable sports betting on 1.5 million phones and devices in Alabama. This would enable minors to participate, with the licenses being unlimited and fines being minimal. 

7. It’s a statistical fact that gambling increases child trafficking and domestic abuse. 

6. I feel like it’s time to mention how lousy and corrupt much of the Alabama Legislature is again. 

5. Based on a recent poll of registered Republican primary voters, 68% don’t want sports betting on smartphones and only 7% consider expanding gambling in Alabama a priority. 

4. With the possibility of casinos being put in cities such as Birmingham and Mobile, gambling is sure to prey on some of the poorest and most disadvantaged communities and particularly minorities. This amounts to another tax on the poor. 

3. Sports betting is currently a public health emergency – “Americans have spent more than a quarter of a trillion dollars on sports betting,” a recent “60 Minutes” episode explained. “That’s the GDP of Greece.” 

2. To paraphrase ALCAP President Greg Davis, predatory gambling is when a state government (like ours) partners with powerful corporate gambling interests, using commercialized businesses to exploit and defraud citizens and communities. In essence, it would benefit the state of Alabama to have a lot of gambling addicts to keep the revenues flowing. 

1. The cons of bringing a lottery, sports betting, and casinos to Alabama far outweigh any pros (if there are any). Addiction, corruption, personal financial loss, exploiting the poorest communities, increases in child trafficking and domestic abuse, increasing crime, a compromised legislature, and a governor who has gone back on everything she wrote about on this issue 14 years ago, leads one to believe that this push to legalize gambling is a bad bet for the PEOPLE of Alabama.

Kristin Landers is a substitute teacher and freelance writer. Landers’ previous work includes serving as Communications Director for the Alabama Policy Institute and working for Citizens Against a Legalized Lottery (CALL) to defeat legalized gambling in the state of Alabama.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com.

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