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Gov. Kay Ivey ‘won’t sign just any bill’ on gambling

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Gov. Kay Ivey ‘won’t sign just any bill’ on gambling

Feb 27, 2024 | 11:35 am ET
By Jemma Stephenson
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Gov. Kay Ivey ‘won’t sign just any bill’ on gambling
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Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey delivers the State of the State address on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024 in Montgomery, Ala. (Stew Milne for Alabama Reflector)

Gov. Kay Ivey told reporters Tuesday that she is planning to meet with legislative leaders Tuesday to discuss the gambling package that passed the Alabama House of Representatives earlier this month.

“I’m going to meet with them today to see what they, changes they’ve proposed, but I won’t sign just any bill,” she said.

The Alabama House of Representatives passed a comprehensive gambling package on Feb. 15 that included a constitutional amendment and enabling legislation. The bill is awaiting a committee action in the Senate.

The legislation, as passed by the House, would create a state lottery and authorize up to seven casinos in the state and sports wagering. It would also direct the governor to sign a compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, who run casinos in Atmore, Montgomery and Wetumpka. 

Ivey does not have any constitutional role in the amendment process. But she would be able to sign or reject the enabling legislation, which controls distribution of gambling money and regulation of the industry. However, any veto Ivey offers could be overridden by a simple majority vote of the chambers. 

Ivey said that they need to fix illegal gambling in the state. She said the state gets nothing back in return.

“So, we’ve got to fix it, and we’ve got to get it right,” she said.

Ivey said that she supports the “good bill” from the House.