Alabama lawmakers are to consider a new bill that would legalise sports betting at licensed land-based facilities in the state, as well as on approved mobile and digital platforms.
Introduced by Representatives Mike Rogers and Mary Moore, HB315 sets out proposals to permit betting on professional and collegiate sports events, as well as create the Alabama Sports Wagering Commission to regulate the market.
The bill, also known as the Alabama Sports Wagering Act, would enable the new Commission to award up to seven sports betting licences to venues where pari-mutuel wagering is authorised.
Operators would be required to pay a $100,000 (£75,800/€89,100) fee for the licence, which would each run for a period of five years.
These licences would permit the holder to offer in-person betting, in addition to wagering services via mobile and other digital platforms. The bill suggests that online and mobile betting would be permitted from anywhere inside the state’s boundaries.
Licence holders would be permitted to enter a partnership with a third-party to operate sports wagering, under the pretext that this entity secure a management services provider licence for $1,000. However, the Commission may accept a licence from another jurisdiction should it have similar licensing requirements.
However, the bill does not reference any of the tribal casinos in the state operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
In terms of tax, licensed operators would pay at a rate of 10% of adjusted gross sports wagering receipts in the state. The Commission would collect tax on a weekly basis.
The 2019 Alabama Legislative Session runs until June 18, meaning the state has just under 11 weeks to pass the bill into law. HB315 currently sits with the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee for further consideration.
Alabama becomes the second Southern State to introduce a sports betting bill in the past week after a bill that would allow for the legalisation of mobile and land-based sports betting on a parish-by-parish basis also appeared in Louisiana.
Mississippi, which borders Alabama to the west, launched its own legal sports betting market on August 1 last year.