No Draftkings Sportsbook App in Alabama as Attempts to Legalize Hit Roadblock

Written by:
t c jackson
Published on:
Feb/29/2024

If you were hoping to open a betting account with DraftKings any time soon from the great state of Alabama, you may be waiting well past the 2024 college football season.

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Granted, you still have the ability to place bets on your beloved Crimson Tide or Tigers courtesy of global brands like BetUS or a local bookie.  But any type of regulation may be a while.

It was starting to look as though DraftKings and FanDuel were knocking on Alabama's door.

On February 28 we reported on how Governor Kay Ivey might be inclined to sign off on a sports betting bill provided it was a "good bill".

The House of Representatives passed legislation on February 15 but it awaited a Senate committee review.

The House approval boded well for proponents of sports wagering as previous attempts at getting legislation through that chamber failed.

This time the issue was in the Senate.

The Senate Tourism Committee’s meeting was posted with little notice and with neither of the two gambling bills that passed the Alabama House earlier this month on the agenda, as per the Alabama Reflector.

And to make matters worse, those who showed were almost entirely individuals opposed to any sports betting legalization in the state.

From The Reflector:

Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Atmore, who is carrying the legislation in the Senate, said Wednesday at least two proposed substitutes for the House legislation have been filed. But he hasn’t seen either.

“All I know is yesterday they came forward with a one sheet of paper with concepts,” said Albritton to reporters after the meeting. “I never got the sub. Then last night I was informed at 8:20 p.m. that there was another sub being worked on.”

He declined to say who “they” were.

Albritton told reporters that he liked the House bills but thought there were “poison pills” in them.

Wednesday's hearing appears to have been in a bit of a train wreck.  Not only did it get off to a late start, Democrats were left out of the discussion for whatever reason.  And it's traditionally the Democrats who would be more open to gambling expansion.

Sen. Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham balked at the notion of being excluded from the talks.

“Why would people think that we are supposed to support something that we ain’t had nothing to do directly to develop it whatsoever?”

Robbie McGhee, the vice chair of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians’ tribal council, said the Poarch Band were not satisfied with the legislation.  They will be influential in any talks about gambling expansion in the state.

“It’s important to us as a people to be successful and to use what we have to build a better Alabama,” he said.

Vestavia Hills City Councilor Kimberly Cook raised concerns about not knowing what the legislation looked like and the part of the House bill that would allow gambling in Birmingham.

“The press says there is a substitute bill, as many of you are aware, and this bill we won’t even get to see it before it’s voted on,” she said. “This is nuts and it isn’t right. It’s not right for the people to not know what’s in the bill before it gets dropped and before it’s voted on the next day.”

Attorney General Steve Marshall has already expressed apprehensions and his office would have final say on who gets licensed should any legislation passed, and that's assuming voters approve in November.

AG Marshall made it clear he doesn't support any of the likely candidates.

"I have serious concerns about the gambling legislation introduced last week," Marshall said. "As the chief law enforcement officer of our state, I find it unconscionable that we would reward those who have flagrantly defied our criminal and civil laws, as well as the judgments entered against them by our state's highest court. While this bill will clearly benefit a handful of special interests, it is difficult for me to see how it is a solution to any of our state's most pressing problems."

By the time the dust had settled, sports betting and casino gambling were removed from the measure entirely with the only thing left to decide on being a lottery.

- TC Jackson, Gambling911.com

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