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The gambling fight gets messier


Apparently gambling is OK.

Alabama state senators have been in a behind-the-scenes debate over the past few days over the issue of gambling, with various proposals emerging. The plan, carefully crafted by House members and passed by Congress, is considered “too broad” by many senators, who appear determined to narrow the bill down to substance.

House officials told APR that any new plan has no chance of gaining House consent, ranging from a lottery-only proposal to the lottery-filled Poe Arch Creek Casino to the current historic dog track location. It covers a wide range of events, including horse racing. There are many suggestions that fall between these two.

The back-and-forth, shifting goalposts, refusal to negotiate in good faith and repeated turnover in recent weeks is starting to wear down the senators and frustrate the House.

“All of this is a tremendous waste of time,” a House source told APR. “We're not recognizing Poe Arch Creek's monopoly. We don't have the votes to pass it. They know what's going on upstairs. Even by lottery alone, it can't pass.

“Can you also say that this doesn't pass the logic test?” So you like some gambling, some serious casinos, but you don't like the other four casinos? Do you like this kind of gambling? Do you agree with this, but don't like that kind of gambling? Or maybe what you're actually trying to do is crush the bills while pretending to be working hard? I think I know the answer. They think humans are stupid. ”

Sen. Greg Albritton, the gambling bill's sponsor in the Senate, has expressed frustration with many senators not being forthright in negotiating the bill.

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Monday was a particularly frustrating day for many of the MPs who took part in the consultation. The day began with what appeared to be one agreement and ended with another. Still, the opinions of lawmakers are not unanimous.

The House version would give voters the opportunity to legalize the lottery, sports betting, and up to 10 casino locations, and would authorize the governor to negotiate a compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (their current three locations locations are included in the 10 licenses). The current agreement, which may or may not be written on paper somewhere, allows for drawings to be held throughout the state, and Gov. Kay Ivey said the current three locations It is necessary to negotiate an agreement with Poarch Creek only for the following.

“So we're going to legalize full casino gambling, but only in unoccupied areas. If there's a more Alabama-like way to do it, we'd love to hear it,” said one senator familiar with the negotiations. “We have $1 billion a year and they're going to pass on a bunch of gambles, but they're only going to take half the money to appease the alphas.”

It's also unclear whether Congress can force Ms. Ivey to negotiate the deal or dictate its terms. Ivey prefers the House version of the bill, and he has no intention of following any other plan, he said.

The gambling legislation, in one form or another, is scheduled to go before the Senate Tourism Committee on Tuesday at 2 p.m.



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