Alabama governor reestablishes study group for lottery

Mar 5, 2020, 12:13 pm (5 comments)


Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey reopened the Governor's Study Group on Gambling Policy by signing Executive Order 719.

"I am committed to, once and for all, getting the facts so that the people of Alabama can make an informed decision on what has been a hotly debated topic for many years," Ivey said in a press release. "Without a doubt, there will be ramifications if we eventually expand gaming options in our state just as there are costs associated with doing nothing.

The purpose of the study group is to produce a report examining the current status of gambling operations in Alabama. The group will also look at the potential political, economic and social costs and benefits associated with different forms of gambling, according to the executive order. 
The group will survey forms of gambling and the regulatory structures and practices that exist in each of Alabama's four neighboring states. 

Consideration will also be given to the forms of gambling that could be allowed in Alabama.
In the final report, members of the study group may give recommendations for legislation. 

The group consists of 12 members which Ivey appointed. In agreeing to serve on the study group, each of the members must sign an ethics pledge attached to the order and serve without compensation or reimbursement. 

Former Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange chairs the group. Members were selected from across the state, including the Auburn area. 

Phillip Rawls, a lecturer at Auburn University's School of Communication and Journalism, was selected to serve on this study group by Ivey and Nathan Lindsay, director of appointments for the governor's office.

His career as a reporter spanned over 35 years with The Associated Press, where he covered state government and politics. 

Rawls said he believes he was selected to be a member because he became familiar with gambling history and issues in Alabama through his career as a journalist. 

"Every time I covered it in the legislature, there was more debate about where the money would go than whether a lottery was appropriate or not," Rawls said. "I would expect the same to hold true for the future."

General consensus is difficult to reach regarding where the funds produced from a system should be allocated, Rawls said. 

Rawls noted the many different ways states have chosen to distribute the money raised.

"Some do college scholarships, some have it going to state agencies, some have it going to K-12 schools," Rawls said.

Because there are so many different approaches, reaching an agreement has proven difficult in Alabama, which is one of only six states to not have a lottery system. 

"Every so often, this issue resurfaces through a new form of legislation," Ivey said in a press release. "By my estimation, we've had more than 180 bills regarding a lottery or expanded gaming since the late 1990s."

The last bill to be introduced became defunct in the 2019 legislative session because opposition arose regarding the legalization of gambling and concerns over where the funds would be allocated. 

The last time voters were able to hit the polls on this issue was to vote on Gov. Don Siegelman's proposal in 1999. 

Task forces for gambling have existed and dissolved within the Alabama government ever since.

Despite failed legislation, people within the Auburn community have occasionally chosen to travel to other states to play the lottery. 

"I have definitely traveled to another state to play the lottery," said Ken Ward of Opelika. 

Caleb Flowers, originally from Abbeville, said he has driven to other states before, especially when the jackpot was high enough. 

The study group must present the report no later than Dec. 31, 2020.

Auburn Plainsman



Letter to Gov Ivey,

Kay, sometimes you have to roll the dice & go for it. These studies you propose are nothing more than money being wasted. Think l don't know what l am talking about? Well take the retrofitting of the bridges in the Bay Area after the earthquake in 89. Millions if not Billions were spent on " studies" , money that could have been used for more pressing needs. The "problem " with any lottery is " the games you come up with" - NEED to be attractive & rewarding to the players. 
Kay, just take a deep breath & jump in at the deep end, Alabama will be fine. What's that old saying " If you build it, they will come."



didn't see any mention of the casinos there on Sovereign lands.   Earlier discussions they don't want casinos in Alabama.   Sorry for my opinion that their lobbyists aren't like those in Nevada who has a Constitutional amendment prohibiting lotteries in Nevada!

How about just put it on the November ballot?   Another year/monies wasted on a feeble study concluding this coming December.

Big Joey

Alabama executed an innocent man. That bothers me tremendously. That goes right through me.


Quote: Originally posted by Big Joey on Mar 6, 2020

Alabama executed an innocent man. That bothers me tremendously. That goes right through me.

How is it that Woods met the grim reaper before Spencer who claims to be the true shooter of the cops? Was Woods present when the shooting started or was he in another neighborhood? Just asking since you pointed out " innocent man executed " Big Joey.

KY Floyd's avatarKY Floyd

"How is it that Woods met the grim reaper before Spencer who claims to be the true shooter of the cops?"

News articles are filled with reports that he had incompetent legal assistance, so that's a likely explanation.  Whatever the reason is it's completely irrelevant to who's guilty and who's innocent.

"Was Woods present when the shooting started"

It's not at all hard to find news stories about it. According to the prosecutor the cops were arresting the guy, who had "surrendered", when the other guy started shooting. There are only 3 witnesses who were there, and all 3 (one of whom is the surviving cop) agree that the guy who was executed didn't do the shooting. One thing that seems extremely clear is that this wasn't a typical felony murder case where both of them were committing a crime together, which would definitely make them both guilty even it one of them didn't do any of the shooting.

I've got no idea if the guy was innocent, but it sounds like there was more than enough reasonable doubt for a fair and impartial jury to acquit him.

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