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Alabama considering lottery gambling bill

May 8, 2015

Alabama could be the next US state to seriously consider passing gambling bill, although this time the bill would only focus on lottery. It seems that Alabama is going through a really bat patch, economically speaking; the state’s General Fund budget is missing $250 million. With such a pot hole in Alabama’s budget, Republicans from Alabama Senate are considering both lottery and casino gambling. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh has proposed Alabama’s lottery bill, a draft that was made public last Thursday by the Senate, but that still needs citizens’ vote to become a constitutional amendment; that is something that will not happen until September 15, right two weeks before the end of this fiscal year 2015.

Alabama needs some sort of developing or just expand the gambling market; tax revenues from online lottery and casino games, could be what the state needs to avoid the economic disaster. The shortfall in the General Fund budget has put the state in a very bad shape. And that is why Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh wants the bill to pass as soon as possible, as tax revenues will not be collected right away: “We are going to pass a budget that will not be counting on any gaming revenue. It will be a bare-bones budget. If the referendum passes, the governor can call a special session and we can go back and do more funding on the agencies that got cut, or we can just wait it out until the next cycle and deal with those revenues when they do start coming in. I’m not going to pass a budget that relies on revenue we do not have. We are going to continue to streamline and right size government. There is no doubt that Republicans by and large do not want increased taxes. The question is, do you want to go in and give a monopoly to the Indians, but it doesn’t have any job creation component, or any economic development? If we’re trying to look at long term solutions, which option is better to deal with that?”

 


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