Last week, State Rep. Chip Brown (R-Hollinger's Island) predicted his chamber would have the opportunity to vote on a so-called comprehensive gambling bill, including a "free-market approach" to casino gambling if successful.

During an interview with FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show," State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Josephine) said while he supported enabling the free market in the licensing process, he was skeptical about the prospects of any bill making it past a special interest blockade.

"If we were going to do casino gambling in Alabama, that would be how I prefer that it looked," he said. "But unfortunately — this is where I get back into the special interests part of this — I think the special interests, the gaming special interests that have gaming existing in Alabama right now will kill any measure to have a free-market approach to this. And I say that because I was in those negotiations when that bill was in the Senate. And we pushed for more, not pure but more competitiveness in the licensure of those existing facilities."

SEE ALSO: pessimState Rep. Brown predicts vote on legislation with 'free-market approach' on casino gambling in 2024

"I understand where Representative Brown is coming from," Elliott continued. "If you could wave a magic wand, and that is something that you wanted to do, if you wanted to have casino gambling in Alabama, and I'm not sure that is a good thing for the state, if you wanted to do that, well, sure, you want it to be as free market as possible. I just think that might be, not taking into account some of the ground that's already been plowed where we've tried that before. The special interests and the flying monkeys coming flying in and they don't want that. They want to protect the industry that they've developed legally or illegally, and have no interest in sharing with others."

"And that, for your listeners, is what stands in the way of you buying a lottery ticket — that right there," he added.

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 [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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