Lottery Bill in Alabama To Be Introduced

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The people of Alabama may soon have a chance to vote on a lottery. Two bills will be submitted to legalize gambling in the state!

Senator Jim McClendon plans to submit two bills when the Senate convenes on Tuesday, March 18. Together, they would legalize gambling in the state.

“The goal is to allow people of Alabama to have a lottery and play those games that people in the other states get to play without having to drive to another state to buy a ticket,” he said. “That would include the Mega Millions and the Powerball. It’d include local draw games, and it would include the kiosk tickets sales.”

The reason for the two bills is due to Alabama’s 1901 Constitution, which currently prohibits gambling. One bill would create a ballot measure to amend the constitution, while the other would be a legislative act to regulate the lottery and determine where the proceeds will be allocated.

“The legislature can’t create a lottery,” McClendon said. “The legislature can authorize the public to vote and change our constitution. We can’t have a lottery without the people voting.”

What happens if they pass?

If passed, the measure to amend will appear on the 2020 presidential primary ballot next March – a deliberate move by McClendon.

“I intentionally have it scheduled for a regular voting day and not a special election day,” he said. “I’m targeting the day when we’re most likely to get the most people to the polls.”

Senator McClendon is also very clear about the driving force behind his legislation, stressing that he does not want the lottery to be something the state relies on for revenue. For him, it’s simply about giving the people a chance to vote on the issue.

“If we get this bill through, and we get a constitutional amendment, I don’t care how [the people] vote,” McClendon said. “If they vote it down it won’t bother me one iota. I’m not doing this to raise money. I am not interested in becoming dependent on gambling dollars to run our state. If in the process, the state of Alabama makes some money out of the deal, then that’s all the better.”

According to McClendon, the current language of the second bill would split the lottery proceeds between the general fund and the education fund. He purposefully excluded money from constitutional amendment bill so that those dollars could stay flexible.

Should these bills pass, it would not be the first time the people have had a chance to vote directly for a lottery. In 1998, Governor Don Siegelman put a referendum before the voters, but it was ultimately rejected.

Soon you could play a new lottery game! But for now, check out all the games OneLotto offers currently.

Source: Matthew Tyson

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