June 16, 2024

Donald Trump Jr. is headed to Alabama next week to rally on behalf of his father’s 2024 campaign. Before departing for the Cotton State, the former president’s eldest son took to X to weigh in on efforts to allow Alabamans to have a say on whether to expand gambling.

Donald Trump Jr. lottery casino gambling sports betting
Donald Trump Jr. thinks lawmakers in Alabama should step aside to allow voters to decide the outcome of ongoing considerations to expand gambling. The legislature is deadlocked about what forms of gambling should be presented to voters through a ballot referendum. (Image: Bloomberg)

The Alabama Senate and House of Delegates had significantly different opinions on how the state should go about authorizing new forms of gambling during the legislative session this year.

The House proposed up to six commercial casinos and four tribal casinos with slot machines, table games, and sports betting. The House bill also recommended the creation of a state-run lottery.

The Senate overhauled the statute to include only three tribal casinos with slots and table games and seven racinos where slot-like historical horse racing (HHR) machines would operate at the state’s former pari-mutuel greyhound tracks and new facilities. While a lottery remained in the Senate version, sports betting became excluded.  

A conference committee last week recommended that a compromise be passed.

The proposal from the six-member panel endorsed three tribal casinos with slots and table games. Up to seven racinos would be allowed only electronic gaming machines but not live dealer tables. Sports betting would remain on the sidelines for both the racinos and tribal casinos. A lottery creation remained.

DJT Jr. Comments

The House of Delegates subsequently ratified the conference committee’s recommendations but the Senate fell a vote shy of the three-fifths majority needed to initiate the referendum. The Alabama Constitution currently prohibits such gambling, meaning voters must amend the state’s fundamental principles to allow the Legislature to legalize new forms of gambling.

Trump Jr. thinks it’s time state lawmakers in Montgomery step aside to allow voters to have the final say on the gaming discussions.

I’m excited to be in Alabama next week for a fundraiser for my dad, but whenever I ask anyone from there what’s going on in the state, this is all they talk about,” Trump Jr. said about the ongoing gaming and lottery talks. “Why is their Senate refusing to let the people vote on a clean bill to legalize the lottery and fund education when 45 states already do it?”

Trump Jr. asked why Alabama lawmakers wouldn’t rather keep the “billions of $$$ in Alabama instead of sending it to other states? Makes no sense to me!”

Gov. Kay Ivey (R) agrees. She recently voiced her opinion that “it’s time for voters of Alabama to have their say.”

Surprising Holdout 

State Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) has long advocated for legal casino gambling and a lottery. He served on the gaming conference committee but was among the 15 “no” votes in the Senate that stalled the gaming package by a single vote in the upper chamber.

Albritton’s district includes Wind Creek Atmore, one of three Class II tribal casinos run by the Poach Band of Creek Indians. Albritton said he was overruled in seeking to provide the tribe with an opportunity to build a casino off sovereign land in Northeast Alabama to draw in players from Georgia and Tennessee where casinos remain absent.

Albritton said the exclusion of a commercial casino for the state’s lone federally recognized tribe prompted his “no” vote.

The post Donald Trump Jr. Shines Light on Alabama Gaming Expansion Deadlock appeared first on Casino.org.

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