MONTGOMERY — Alabama State Senators will likely consider a revised version of the gambling and lottery legislation passed by the House in February this week.

A draft of the revised version of the Senate's substitute amendment includes a statewide lottery and a requirement that the Governor negotiate a compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. Sports betting or other new casino licenses aren't included in the Senate's draft amendment. The amendment would be voted on September 10 in a special election in the revised Senate plan. The House's version scheduled the vote on the constitutional amendment in the general election in November.

The version is just a draft and could undergo more changes before it comes up for a committee vote as soon as Wednesday.

A public hearing on the House legislation was held by the Senate Tourism Committee last Wednesday, but no vote was taken. Multiple Senators have said some type of gambling legislation will be considered this week. If passed by the Senate, the bill would return to the House for their consideration.

The Senate's revised constitutional amendment also includes authorizing pari-mutuel wagering, including historical horse racing at the racetracks in Greene, Jefferson, Macon, Mobile, an additional location in Greene County, at the existing bingo halls in Houston County, and the town of White Hall in Lowndes County.

According to a draft copy of the constitutional amendment, under Section 65 of the Constitution of Alabama of 2022, lotteries and gift enterprises are prohibited. This bill would propose an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 2022 to establish an official state lottery to be administered by a newly created Alabama Gambling Commission. 

The proposed amendment would levy a 24 to 32% tax on identified facilities as determined by the commission pursuant to general law.

The proposed amendment would require the Legislature to establish a law enforcement division within the Alabama Gambling Commission to police lottery games and other gambling activities and eliminate unlawful gambling activities. 

The proposed amendment would also require the Governor to negotiate a compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

According to a draft of the bill, the Governor shall negotiate and may execute a Tribal-State compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, but the Governor may not grant authority for any activity to be conducted outside of lands held in trust by the United States for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

The proposed amendment would repeal all local bingo amendments and prohibit the enactment of any future local amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 2022, providing for gambling activities. The proposed amendment would also authorize the Legislature to provide any court jurisdiction to hear matters involving the Alabama Gambling Commission.

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