Thus far, members from the Alabama House of Representatives have been tepid at best in their reactions to a Senate-passed version of gambling legislation passed earlier this month. State Rep. Chip Brown (R-Hollinger's Island) is pessimistic about its prospects when the Alabama Legislature returns from its break earlier today.

During an interview with Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "Midday Mobile," Brown told host Sean Sullivan that he expected the House not to concur with the upper chamber's bill.

"I don't see us concurring and agreeing to the changes that they made," he said. "I think the House bill was pretty good. I mean, it allowed competition and it was realistic. And I think it was realistic, too, on the sports gaming side."

Brown referenced an earlier decision of the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs modifying its rules that govern tribal gambling, specifically online gambling, which he said could give the Poarch Band of Creek Indians an "unintended monopoly."

"[W]hat's interesting to me — they probably don't know this, but the Department of the Interior issued a ruling maybe three weeks ago, a month ago. They oversee gaming on Indian land, on tribal land. In Alabama, we don't oversee like the Poarch Creek that they have ... and we don't get a dime off of that unless they enter into a compact with the Governor. And even then, it's going to be in the form of fees. You can't tax a sovereign nation. As the State of Alabama, we cannot go onto tribal land and tax them. However, we can charge them fees if they enter into a compact with the State of Alabama. But the Bureau of Indian Affairs — they issued a ruling that tribes could participate in online gaming and sports betting and that sort of thing. You're setting up a scenario you don't have online sports betting say on your phone. But the reality is they will be able to do it. They would end up with an unintended monopoly over that."

Brown argued the House should not concur with the Senate version, which he said would set up the possibility of the two chambers sorting out differences in a conference committee.

"I think we don't concur," Brown added. "What I want to do is not concur. Let's let the powers that be go to conference and try to work something out and see what we come up with. It can't hurt."

The Mobile County Republican argued the votes were not there in the House to pass. He was also skeptical of the Senate's September election date, suggesting a proposed special election would not only come with a $5 million price tag but would be held with the intention of killing the gambling bill.

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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