Senate OKs lottery proposal

Published 12:53 am Saturday, April 27, 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-Elba, who represents Covington, Coffee and Pike counties, was not present Thursday, but said he would have voted in favor of the bill had he been there.

“I think it’s good that (the proceeds) will be split between the Education 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.

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.

Alabama is one of five states without a state lottery.