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House Bill proposes legalizing sports betting in AL; locals have mixed emotions

Updated: Feb. 6, 2021 at 11:06 PM CST
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FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - Alabama lawmakers are debating a bill that would allow sports gambling in the state.

This is not the first time a bill like that has been voted on, but it might be the first time it passes.

You can cheer for the Tigers or Tide, but to legally bet on them l, you have to drive to neighboring states Tennessee or Mississippi.

House Bill 161, introduced by Representative John Rogers of Birmingham, would allow betting on certain collegiate and professional sporting events as well as other authorized competitions right here in Alabama.

“I believe that it should pass,” said Jessica German.

Right now, only 20 states and Washington D.C allow active, legal sports betting.

Tennessee is one of the 20 states recently added to the active, legal sports betting list.

November was the first month of Tennessee’s legal wagering and the state generated more than two million dollars of the tax revenue.

Jessica German said that it could be a good revenue stream for the state of AL

“Other states are seeing a lot of benefits from it. There’s not a right or wrong answer to it so I believe that money could be earmarked for education, health programs, or even road constructions,”

Matthew Jason Sherrod also thinks it could be good for the local economy, but he also he also said sports betting will mess up the legitimacy of the game.

“If they took the profits and did something good with it that would help the next generations, then it would be ok. But the only problem that I feel with it, is that it corrupts the game. Once you have all these people once the odds getting going, this, that, and the other, games have been manipulated ruining the sport that Americans love to watch,” said Sherrod.

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