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Senators appointed to committee on Alabama gambling package


Senators appointed to committee on Alabama gambling package

Apr 16, 2024 | 4:42 pm ET
By Jemma Stephenson
Senators appointed to committee on Alabama gambling package
Senators work in the chamber of the Alabama Senate on Feb. 20, 2024 in Montgomery, Alabama. (Brian Lyman/Alabama Reflector)

The Alabama Senate appointed the members of a conference committee to consider a proposed gambling package Tuesday, more than two weeks after the House of Representatives did so.

The Senate conferees are Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Atmore; Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro; and Sen. Garlan Gudger, R-Cullman.

Singleton and Albritton have both been longtime supporters of gambling legislation.

The House and Senate have been at odds about the scope of the proposed legislation. The House in February approved a bill that created a lottery; authorized casino gambling and sports betting in the state and directed the governor to enter into a compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, who operate casinos in Atmore, Montgomery and Wetumpka. The Senate passed a stripped-down version last month that jettisoned everything except the lottery and the compact.  

The chambers also disagreed about the disbursement of funds. Albritton has previously told the Reflector that he is unaware of anything would satisfy both chambers.

Before the Senate convened on Tuesday, Singleton told reporters that he thinks they will need to find middle ground on things like the election date. The House version set the election on Election Day in November. The Senate version set it for Sept. 10.  Singleton also said he wants to make a “real effort” at sports betting.

He said he was “optimistic” that something will come out of conference but it might not be something everyone likes. But he thinks it will pass if it makes to the ballot.

“I think that if it hits the street, it’ll pass,” he said.