MONTGOMERY — Negotiations over the future of gambling legislation in the Alabama Senate continued Tuesday.

The House recently approved two bills that laid the basis for comprehensive gaming. 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.

There was no public movement on the two bills in the Senate last week, but negotiations continue privately. 

"We've taken two steps forward and one step back, or maybe it's one step forward and two steps back. I can't figure out which. We'll work on it," State Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore), the Senate sponsor of the House gambling legislation, told 1819 News on Tuesday.

Multiple opponents of the legislation in the Senate said the comprehensive gambling package was dead last week. Although, they did say a bill creating just a lottery was a possibility. 

Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) told reporters on Thursday that gambling legislation was "the opportunity to do something great."

"Alabama can move forward. We're going to have some little funding issues that are going to come up. Federal dollars will be gone after '26. We're going to be faced with these budgets by ourselves. We're going to need extra money here. Prisons are being overcrowded; it's costing us a lot of money. Medicaid, Medicare … it's costing us a lot of money. We're going to need dollars to be able to continue to help us function in this state. Gaming is a way to do it. I think they've sent us a bill up here that's something we can work with. I look forward to the day that we can have a real debate about it," Singleton said.

State Sen. Larry Stutts (R-Tuscumbia) told 1819 News on Tuesday he was still a no-vote on gambling.

"What problem is gambling going to fix? Do we have a shortage of entertainment in the state? Are we short on revenue in the state? No, we've got record budgets. We're doing fine. We've bragged about the fact that through the pandemic we came through with record budgets. A lot of states had terrible financial problems, but we didn't. We touted our conservative management, how well we've come through the last few years, and we've got record budgets on both sides of the budget," Stutts said. "What are we trying to fix? So it's going to raise $900 million. Well, what do we need $900 million for? Just make government bigger? What problem is this going to address? That's why I'm against it for those reasons. I don't think it's a good way to fund the state government, and the state government is pretty doggone well funded right now. It's detrimental to the culture of why we live in Alabama. I appreciate our conservative family values, and gambling is detrimental to that."

After speaking to the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday morning, Ivey told reporters she planned to meet with Senate leadership and said she liked the House's version of the legislation.

"I won't sign just any bill. Illegal gambling is already rampant. The state is getting nothing back in return, so we've got to fix this and we've got to get it right. The House passed a good bill. I'm meeting with leadership today to see what the Senate's thinking is. I won't sign just any bill," Ivey said.

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Steve Livingston (R-Scottsboro) told 1819 News, "The Senate Republican Caucus is preparing to take on the gaming and lottery legislation in the near future." 

"Each of our members has had the opportunity to voice his or her opinion and offer suggestions as we debate this legislation. The entirety of the Republican Caucus is engaged in the legislative process, and conversations are ongoing," Livingston said.

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