Proposal for Casino Legislation Introduced in Alabama5 years ago
Senator Del Marsh has introduced legislation proposal that would legalize lottery and casino gambling in Alabama. The bill he introduced on Monday is pretty much the same as bill he introduced in regular session of Legislature which ended in early June.
Senator Del Marsh had no problem to fight for the gambling on Monday even though House of Representatives refused to accept legislation which was introduced by Gov. Robert Bentley. Bentley will have to wait to talk about his budget bills that he introduced in order to deal with the state’s general fund budget crisis.
Del Marsh doesn’t agree with Bentley’s proposal for tax increase. Senator is certainly aware of the budged crisis but in his opinion legalization of gambling in the state is one of the solutions.
Senator recently commissioned a study and it was estimated that lottery and Las Vegas style casinos in the state could generate more than $400m a year for the state in tax proceeds. The gambling is not just good for the state of Alabama because of revenues as Marsh believes. It was estimated that the industry would create 11,000 new jobs, mostly in the service industry.
Marsh explained that his plan is to form a gambling commission which would regulate casinos in the state and establish rules under which they would operate. The gambling industry is already present in Alabama, Marsh explained, as residents spend millions of dollars at Indian casinos in the state of Alabama and millions of dollars in other states where gambling is legalized.
The senator revealed that he doesn’t gamble himself, adding that he simply considers gambling a matter of business. However Gov. Robert Bentley described Marsh’s plan as unhelpful in the General Fund Crisis that will begin on October 1st. Marsh elaborated that while gambling would not fix the problem with fund crisis immediately, the gaming revenue would certainly go a long way to help solve a problem longer term.
Bentley stated that he doesn’t have a problem with legalization of gambling but in his opinion, gambling is not an answer to the problems that Alabama is currently facing. The budget crisis is something that should be solved first and there is time in the next regular session to talk about gambling legalization.
Marsh calls for four casinos in the state which would offer various games, including poker and blackjack. If his bill gets approved by both of the Legislature Houses then the voters will have a final word and decide whether this bill will become a law.
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