Lawmaker breaks down the hold up to Alabama lottery

Updated: Nov. 27, 2019 at 10:09 AM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Every state bordering Alabama now has the lottery, at the same time, year-after-year, Alabama lawmakers cannot find a way to get a lottery bill passed and to the ballot box.

Representative Mike Ball said there is a lot of controversy surrounding the bill and outside players, like dog racing track owners and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

Ball said lawmakers who support the dog racing tracks won’t vote for a lottery bill unless it includes expansion for the tracks.

On the other hand, he says lawmakers who support the Poarch Creek Indians’ new proposal don’t want the dog racing tracks to expand.

Another issue, Ball said, is Alabama does not have a state gaming commission so there is no entity to regulate gaming.

Ball said he thinks a majority of the legislature would support a clean lottery bill with just the lottery in it, but he says that bill will never happen because of those outside influences.

Lawmakers would also need a 3/5 super majority vote in both the House of Representatives and Senate to get a lottery bill to the ballot box.

When asked if lawmakers will feel more pressure to pass a lottery bill now, Ball said he’s not worried what any other states are doing, just what Alabama is doing.

Amid all the controversy, Ball is confident it is time for lawmakers to find a resolution to the lottery in Alabama and put their focus into other matters.

“I do know that the majority of the public wants some action on this, this gaming issue has been a controversial issue that has sucked up so much legislative energy for decades," Ball said.

Simply put, Ball says there are more important things lawmakers should be doing with their time and for too long lawmakers have spent too much time working on these lottery bills.

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