Though the wounds from the late-session collapse of a gambling bill are still fresh, there is already buzz about a renewed effort for 2025.

To proceed, the State House of Representatives and the State Senate will have to overcome significant differences on how to deal with gambling in Alabama.

During an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show" on Tuesday, State Senate President Pro-Tem Greg Reed (R-Jasper) applauded the House for its push, noting more was "accomplished this session" than in prior attempts.

However, the Walker County Republican lawmaker said the differences remain.

“Well, I agree that the differential between what the House was looking for and what the Senate was looking for was different," Reed explained. "And certainly, I applaud the House and the Speaker of the House. They had a very intense program. They worked diligently to come up with a package. We respected that, and the Senate kind of stood by the side while they moved forward on elements that were important to them. But I had said all along, representing the attitude of the Senate, that our membership is not going to be as willing to go for some of the items that the House had proposed."

"And that element of back and forth was what is to be expected when you're looking at any issue, certainly a topic this big," he continued. "Was the attitude of the Senate willing to do gaming legislation during this session? And the answer is yes — it's just that we weren't willing as a Senate, based on the feedback from our membership, we weren't willing to embrace all of the concept that the House of Representatives had proposed. So the Senate took what the House did, we modified it, changed it. We eliminated some casinos. We eliminated some other elements of table games and those kinds of things. The sports betting program, some of those things our members just weren't comfortable with. And so we fashioned the Senate plan, sent it back to the House in hopes that they would concur on what we said. They didn't do that. And that was understandable in a lot of ways because they had several elements that were important to their membership. So I think as time went along, we wound up in a place to where this is the House position, this is the Senate position, and we pretty much weren't going to move off those positions to get to an overall compromise."

"But the one thing I can say, having been in the legislature for a number of years and basically been in leadership for 10 years, we've had legislation in gaming almost every year I've been in the legislature," Reed added. "But there was more accomplished this session in understanding exactly where the membership is going to be on this issue. And we'll have to wait to see what the attitude is going to be of the membership and those that are interested in moving some of this legislation again in the next session. That will remain to be seen. But I think understanding and having now knowledge, like it or not, where the membership is on the topic, I think everybody's got a very good idea. The Senate is going to be more conservative in its approach. The House is going to be a little more focused on some of these other elements that they think will raise additional revenues, and I'm sure they will. So as we move forward, kind of see where it goes next in regards to the gambling topic.”

Jeff Poor is the editor in chief of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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