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Committee hears pros and cons of Alabama lottery

AlabamaAlabama: Committee hears pros and cons of Alabama lottery
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Update: Committee approves both bills, sends to full Senate

Bills to call for a constitutional amendment to establish a state lottery were debated this morning in an Alabama Senate committee.

The Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee held a public hearing on the second day of the special legislative session.

The committee plans to meet again this afternoon and take votes on the bills.

At the public hearing, several people spoke in opposition to a lottery and other forms of gambling, including Joe Godfrey, executive director of the faith-based lobbying organization Alabama Citizens Action Program, attorney Eric Johnston and pastor Mark Gidley of Etowah County.

Godfrey, a longtime opponent of gambling legislation, said a state lottery would hurt lower-income people who tend to play the lottery.

He said tax revenues would decline because money spent on lottery tickets would otherwise have been spent on other products.

"The state is encouraging its own citizens to throw away their money on things that will not have a return," Godfrey told the committee.

Mac McArthur, executive director of the Alabama State Employees Association, spoke in support of a lottery.

McArthur said the state faces a crisis in funding for Medicaid. He said the Legislature has mostly rejected calls for tax increases and moving money from education. He noted that Gov. Robert Bentley, who a year ago said lotteries were as old-fashioned as leisure suits, now says a lottery is a viable option.

"It may be out of date, it may be the wrong color and it may be out of style but it may be the only answer to address the problem," McArthur said.

Sen. Jim McClendon, R-Springville, is carrying Bentley's bill, which would establish a state lottery to provide money for the General Fund.

McClendon is sponsoring a second lottery bill that would also allow video lottery terminals at the state's four greyhound tracks.

McClendon's second bill also differs from the governor's in that it would divide revenue between the General Fund and Education Trust Fund, and that it calls for a bond issue to help fund Medicaid and for the governor to negotiate a gaming compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

The committee is considering three other gambling bills, including another involving the Poarch Creeks, who operate electronic bingo casinos in Atmore, Montgomery and Wetumpka.

A bill by Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Range, is a proposed constitutional amendment that would require the governor to negotiate a gaming compact with the tribe.

The proposal would allow the Poarch Creeks to have Class III gambling, which includes slot machines and table games like blackjack and craps. Electronic bingo is Class II.

The state would get a share of revenue from the expanded gambling at the tribe's casinos.

Robert McGhee, vice chairman of the Poarch Creeks, said the tribe supports Albritton's bill.

McGhee said the Poarch Creeks have been willing for more than a quarter century to help with state finances.

"There is still some time to seize the day," McGhee said. "We believe (Albritton's bill) gives Alabama an opportunity to be financially secure today, tomorrow and for the foreseeable future."

McGhee said the Poarch Creeks oppose McClendon's bill because it would not allow Class III gaming and would offer no benefit for the tribe.

Also pending in the Senate committee are lottery bills by Sen. Paul Sanford, R-Huntsville and Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham.

Sanford's bill is a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow the state to enter multi-state games, like Powerball, but not establish an Alabama lottery.

Update: Committee approves both bills

The Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee on Tuesday afternoon approved both competing lottery bills. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said the bills were a work in progress and he wanted a vehicle for negotiations on the Senate floor.

Republican Sen. Jim McClendon is the sponsor of both bills. One bill backed by Gov. Robert Bentley would authorize a state lottery. The other also would allow electronic lottery terminals, which can resemble slot machines, at four state dog tracks.

The Senate could vote on the bills as soon as Wednesday.

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10 comments. Last comment 4 months ago by Tatototman65.
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mypiemaster's avatar - 2015021003pileofcash
JACKPOT HUNTER

United States
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April 2, 2013
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Posted: August 16, 2016, 5:32 pm - IP Logged

C'mon guys, just get it over with.

Seek and ye shall find -Matt. 7:7 ...Ask and ye shall receive -John 16:24 ...Give and it shall be given unto you -Luke 6:38 ...Be careful what you ask for!!! -Mypiemaster 1:1

Having Money Solves Problems That Not Having Money Creates Yes Nod ****John Carlton****

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    Simpsonville
    United States
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    January 22, 2015
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    Posted: August 16, 2016, 6:11 pm - IP Logged

    C'mon guys, just get it over with.

    It probably burns these anti everything folks in Alabama crazy that there are several Indian casinos there.

     

    Like I told a Grandma in the PICU where I work:  People are going to smoke, people are going to drink, people are going to screw and people are going to gamble.  She agreed with me.

    The Bible thumper types, IMO, are sometimes the biggest sinners of all...and many have got caught red-handed going against what they preach.

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      Enterprise, Alabama
      United States
      Member #3796
      February 21, 2004
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      Posted: August 16, 2016, 6:23 pm - IP Logged

      I find Sen. Paul Sanford's lottery bill interesting: It would "...allow the state to enter multi-state games, like Powerball, but not establish an Alabama lottery."

      Is that possible? If you win the jackpot, where would you redeem your lottery ticket if there is no formal state lottery? I must not be understanding something here...

        Avatar
        Simpsonville
        United States
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        January 22, 2015
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        Posted: August 16, 2016, 7:25 pm - IP Logged

        I find Sen. Paul Sanford's lottery bill interesting: It would "...allow the state to enter multi-state games, like Powerball, but not establish an Alabama lottery."

        Is that possible? If you win the jackpot, where would you redeem your lottery ticket if there is no formal state lottery? I must not be understanding something here...

        Is that guy that stupid?  Of course you must have a state lottery to play with the big dogs.

          music*'s avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
          Happy California
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          August 2, 2014
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          Posted: August 16, 2016, 7:42 pm - IP Logged

           I would vote for Senator Paul Sanford (R-Huntsville) bill and limit the lottery to Power Ball and Mega Million.

           I do have ulterior motives here. Those are the only games I play.Wink

           I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better. 

           Attributed to Joe E. Lewis and others

            haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
            Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
            United States
            Member #112968
            June 29, 2011
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            Posted: August 16, 2016, 8:06 pm - IP Logged

            I find Sen. Paul Sanford's lottery bill interesting: It would "...allow the state to enter multi-state games, like Powerball, but not establish an Alabama lottery."

            Is that possible? If you win the jackpot, where would you redeem your lottery ticket if there is no formal state lottery? I must not be understanding something here...

            Yeah...and what about the 2nd prize ?

            He's the one that doesn't understand.

            Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

              MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
              Beautiful Florida
              United States
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              July 18, 2004
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              Posted: August 16, 2016, 10:35 pm - IP Logged

              Now they're making progress.  I hope the Senate  will see the same as the committee, and they get this out to the

              public ASAP...

                                                           

                                                             "  When Injustice Becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty "

                helpmewin's avatar - dandy
                u$a
                United States
                Member #106665
                February 22, 2011
                19881 Posts
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                Posted: August 17, 2016, 4:09 am - IP Logged

                I Agree!

                Let it Snow Snowman

                  Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                  Chief Bottle Washer
                  New Jersey
                  United States
                  Member #1
                  May 31, 2000
                  23274 Posts
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                  Posted: August 17, 2016, 7:54 am - IP Logged

                  Yeah...and what about the 2nd prize ?

                  He's the one that doesn't understand.

                  Exactly.  A great example of a truly clueless politician.  You'd think he would have made a couple of phone calls to understand how Powerball and Mega Millions work before opening his yap.

                   

                  Check the State Lottery Report Card
                  What grade did your lottery earn?

                   

                  Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                  Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                    Tatototman65's avatar - Lottery-009.jpg

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                    February 4, 2013
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                    Posted: August 17, 2016, 8:04 am - IP Logged

                    Now they're making progress.  I hope the Senate  will see the same as the committee, and they get this out to the

                    public ASAP...

                    I Agree!

                    Smile

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