Alabama Gambling Laws

Alabama Gambling Laws on Casinos, Lotteries, Fantasy Sports

The situation of gambling in the US is rather complicated mostly because of different states’ gambling laws. Let’s take a look at the state of gambling in Alabama!

Casino Gambling in Alabama

In 2015, there was a spark of hope for lawful casino gambling in Alabama. President pro tempore of the Alabama Senate, Del Marsh was preparing for the legalization of casinos but at the end of the year he discarded his plans. Marsh had hoped that lawmakers would be on his side, considering the potential revenues from casino gambling in Alabama. Some Alabama lawmakers declared that the state is too good to fund its vast budget deficit from gambling. As an exception, the only federally recognized tribe in Alabama, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, are permitted to operate casinos in Alabama.

Lotteries in Alabama

Alabama is one of the six states without an authorized lottery. Marsh has also suggested setting-up an Alabama state lottery, which was also put off. Alabama gambling news and experts say that the state is missing out without an authorized lottery. Alabama residents drive to Tennessee or Georgia to participate in local lotteries, spending an estimated USD 200 million annually. US gambling news outlets say that in 2016 residents might enjoy lotteries in Alaska as well.

Online casinos in Alabama

The situation of online casinos in Alabama is vague. Some residents say that it’s easy to find an online gambling site that accepts them and there are no clear gambling laws in Alabama that would prohibit them from joining. Even the Alabama policy handbook highlights that the “current gambling provisions offer too weak a punishment and therefore, do not deter those who may make profits far in excess of fines.” However, it’s important to remember that almost all forms of gambling are unlawful in Alabama and chance-based online gambling is not an exception. 

[UPDATE: 04/04/2016]

Daily Fantasy Sports in Alabama

Daily fantasy sports in Alabama constitute illegal gambling, determined Attorney General Luther Strange in 2016. Strange acknowledged the involvement of skills in fantasy sports, but also highlighted the strong influence of the element of chance in the games.

Alabama gambling laws declare that “an activity constitutes illegal gambling if a person stakes something of value on a contest of chance, even when skill is involved, in order to win a prize.” Therefore, daily fantasy sports sites like DraftKings and FanDuel were asked to cease their operation in Alabama by May 1.

In 2015, two Alabama daily fantasy sports players have filed a lawsuit against two daily fantasy sports operators, claiming that they should be repaid their losses based on Alabama gambling laws. According to a statute, contracts that involve gambling are unenforceable in Alabama.

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