Senator Del Marsh, who served as president pro tem of the Alabama Senate 2010–2020, introduced on February 9, 2021, SB214, a bill proposing an amendment to the Alabama Constitution (the CA). The CA proposes comprehensive authorization of gaming, including a lottery, five casinos, and sports wagering. It also authorizes and encourages Governor Kay Ivey to enter into a compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (the Poarch) to permit class III casino-style gaming at its three existing bingo facilities in Alabama. If adopted by a three-fifths vote of each of the Alabama House and Senate, the CA will be placed on the November 2022 ballot and must receive ratification by a majority of the voters in that election. If it is ratified, the legislature would meet in a special session on the fourth Tuesday after the election to implement the CA, including the adoption of enabling laws for a Gaming Commission created by the CA that will set parameters for the commission to regulate the covered locations, lottery games, and sports wagering.
The Alabama Legislature’s 2021 regular session began on February 2 and is allotted 30 session days that must be completed within 105 calendar days. The CA was introduced on the fourth legislative day and was assigned to the Senate Tourism Committee, which passed it out of committee unanimously on February 10. The legislature will recess the week of February 15 to assess its COVID-19 protocols, and it is anticipated that Senator March will seek to permit full debate on the CA prior to attempting to pass it through the Senate when the session resumes on February 23. Continue Reading