Senate passes lottery bill

Published 10:20 pm Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Alabama Senate narrowly approved a lottery bill Thursday afternoon that would give voters a chance to decide on whether they want a lottery in the state.

Senators on Thursday voted 21-12 for the bill. It now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives. The bill passed with the minimum 21 votes required to pass a constitutional amendment.

Sen. Jimmy Holley, R-Pike, was not present, but said he would have voted in favor of the bill had he been there.

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“I think it’s good that it will be split between the Eduction Trust Fund and the General Fund,” Holley said. “The ETF certainly needs it but I’m also keenly aware of the general fund needing those resources as well.”

The bill by Republican Sen. Greg Albritton of Atmore would limit a lottery to paper tickets and not allow video lottery terminals. I think the ETF could use sources, but keenly aware general fund in dire need of resources. Help us accomplish those things better.”

Senators added two amendments aimed at preventing the “paper” requirement from being used to shut down electronic bingo games at state dog tracks.

If approved by the House and Senate, the proposal would go before voters on March 3, 2020.

Rep. Wes Allen, R-Pike, said it’s too early to tell what the bill will include by the time it makes it before the full House for a vote.

“The Senate version that passed today has a long ways to go,” Allen said. “It will most likely look different by the time it reaches the House floor.”

Alabama is one of five states without a state lottery.