Will Gambling Ever Be Allowed in Alabama? Group Releases Report on Cost, Benefits, Drawbacks

Gov. Ivey Reviewing Sggp Report

By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Shanaya Daughtrey

TUSCALOOSA, AL–  On Dec. 18, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s study group on gambling released a 876-page report on the impact any gambling expansion would have on the state of Alabama.

Ivey formulated this task force back in February in the event that a lottery and other forms of gambling would be approved by the Alabama Legislature.

Despite numerous forms of gambling being available and quickly being expanded and legalized in states across the country, Alabama drags behind as most forms of gambling are constitutionally prohibited in the state.

When the group’s findings were released, it was revealed that three forms of gambling were studied: lottery, casino-style gambling and sports betting.

According to the 876-page report, benefits of expanded legalized gambling in Alabama are almost purely economic in the form of job creation and potential economic development opportunities – and fiscal in the form of revenue generation for the State.

At length, Alabama could produce 19,000 newly created jobs – many with salary premiums much higher than the state’s current average annual income – and could realize as much as $710 million in annual revenue, depending on what forms of gambling are legalized. 

The benefits of expanding gambling in the state sound economically promising, but the drawbacks could be detrimental.

State Sen. Steve McMillin said while this study shows the economic impact could be huge, there is one major concern:

“We could have as many as almost 70,000 people who become addicted or overindulge in gaming,” McMillin said.

Legislators also have to consider what method of gambling will be acceptable and where will that money be allocated: benefit general fund? education?

Additionally, gambling expansion is a constitutional amendment that has to be voted on by the people of Alabama.

Senator Chris Elliott said he hopes Alabama legislators can do their part and allow Alabamians to vote on it.

Read the full gambling report as a PDF download right here.

Gov. Ivey Reviewing SGGP Report

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