With the conclusion of the 2023 legislative session, speculation about the future of gambling in Alabama is heating up, even though there is a long way to go until the 2024 legislative session.

During an interview with Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5, State Sen. David Sessions (R-Grand Bay) said if gambling were to come next year, it would likely be up to the House of Representatives to pass its version of a constitutional amendment to remove Alabama's Constitution of 1901 prohibition against gambling.

He said that although he would vote "no" on the constitutional amendment, he would prefer the vote come in a presidential election, given the turnout for that election is historically higher than all other elections.

"I think the House — basically, it is kind of their turn," he said. "You know, Jeff, I'm of the opinion — if we're going to do a constitutional amendment, it needs to be on a presidential ballot. That's when you have more people voting historically, so the majority would rule, whether it be against it or for it."

"I personally oppose it," Sessions continued. "But, you know, there again, if it is a constitutional amendment that protects the state and is a fair deal to the state, not fair to the gambling interests — I don't want to see a one-sided constitutional amendment. I want to see it fair for the state. I could support that in the Senate, as long as it is fair to the state and the people have the ultimate decision. There again, when I go to the poll, I'm going to go in there and punch 'no' no matter what. I feel gambling is the biggest tax on poor people there is."

The Mobile County lawmaker said he thought there was a "good possibility" that a gambling constitutional amendment could make it through the Alabama Legislature in time for the 2024 presidential election next year.

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 jeff.poor@1819News.com or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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