A bill authorizing casino gaming and lottery? Yes, you’ve read it. It’s really happening in Montgomery, Alabama.
Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh introduced the legislation which would allow casinos in several locations in the state and authorize a lottery which according to the senate president will generate a combined $400 million a year.
If passed, the plan would have a $1.28 billion economic impact on the state and would create 11,000 new permanent jobs for Alabama workers. Sounds good, isn’t it?
The idea of having billions of dollars and permanent jobs are music to the ears of many but several north Alabama lawmakers said they’ll need to be convinced before they’ll vote to support gambling as a fix for the state’s budget problems.
However, the constitutional amendment would require voters’ approval.
“Let the people of Alabama vote. The choice is clear to me: do you want to raise taxes by $700 million or do you want a lottery and casino gaming that will generate $400 million and create 11,000 new jobs without having to raise taxes? The people of Alabama should decide this question for themselves, and nobody else,” Marsh said.
If Alabamians vote in favor of the amendment, then a Special Session of the Alabama Legislature must be held within 30 days of the amendment’s passage to enact the authorized legislation.
Despite the Senate President’s effort to pass the bill, there are other lawmakers who oppose the idea of authorizing casino gaming and lottery in northern Alabama. In fact, one legislator called that proposal a bad legislation.
Well, the legislators probably feel the need to consider the pros and cons of the bill. Casino gaming and lottery might be of help to their budget problems, but the legislators may feel that these are gambling activities which may affect Alabamians behavior and ways of living.