Though some are pointing to 2024 as the year some type of gambling or lottery bill is passed, State Sen. Sam Givhan (R-Huntsville) has his doubts.

The idea of a clean lottery bill has gained traction in the past, but it ultimately failed after some lawmakers tied it to approving casino gambling, which has been a much harder sale to voters. That's why Givhan said he didn't think a stand-alone lottery bill would even come up for a vote this legislative session.

"I don't think it'd ever get a vote," he said during a recent appearance on WVNN's "The Dale Jackson Show." "If it would come up for a vote on the floor without amendment, then yes. Or without a total hijacking, is what I would say."

Givhan said he was told the Senate would not likely take up any gambling-related bills until one is passed in the House.

"Let's say that it passed the House, a clean lottery, one that was acceptable, maybe had half the money going into Education Trust Fund, half the money going into General Fund," Givhan said. "That means everybody can fight another day about where the money's going to be spent, and fight year to year about where the money's going to be spent. That would probably be tolerable to me."

However, Givhan said such a bill would be "hijacked" by the Senate.

"The Senate will, in my opinion, will hijack that, and they will substitute the gambling bill that's been basically circulated around for years which gives the existing dog track owners basically a lock on the sites and things like that as opposed to an open bid process, which could be logical," he said.

As hard as it may be to pass a stand-alone lottery bill, Givhan said he'd rather see it happen than have it tied again to casino gambling.

"If we do that, yeah it's not great, but it is what the people want," he said. "And then we're not going really to have to deal with casinos, in my opinion, because casinos standing alone will not pass."

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