Alabama Racetrack Owners Launch New Ad Campaign to Support Gambling Bill

  • The ad claims that the gaming bill would generate $700m+ each year and create 12,000 jobs
  • The gaming bill would allow for the creation of resort-style casinos and a state lottery
  • Senator Greg Albritton plans to sponsor the bill in the 2022 legislative session
  • If lawmakers pass the legislation, the public would then vote on the matter
Sweet Home Alabama highway sign
A new ad campaign has gone live in Alabama calling for people to support a gambling expansion bill. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Reaching out to the public

The Alabama Track Owners Association has launched an advertising campaign that highlights the benefits of gambling expansion in the state. This campaign began statewide on Wednesday and calls upon people to get in touch with lawmakers to discuss the merits of a comprehensive gambling bill that could be under consideration during the 2022 legislative session. Here is a look at the Alabama Track Owners Association’s campaign video:

The ad touts the job creation and revenue generation that would come with the passage of the bill. It claims that the subsequent job creation would be around the 12,000 mark or equivalent to “three manufacturing plants.” It also claims that an expanded gambling sector could generate over $700m in revenue each year.

The gaming bill would allegedly create three times more jobs without needing any taxpayer funds.  

This ad campaign says that the state has given over $700m worth of tax breaks and incentives to a Toyota-Mazda manufacturing plant close to Huntsville in return for bringing 4,000 jobs to Alabama. The gaming bill would allegedly create three times more jobs without needing any taxpayer funds.  

A comprehensive bill

Alabama lawmakers were ultimately unsuccessful during the last legislative session when trying to push through the comprehensive gaming bill. However, they believe that there will be sufficient interest among lawmakers to push it through this time around. The bill would allow for the development of five or six full casinos, depending on the final version, while also authorizing the creation of a lottery. Currently, Alabama is one of just six states in the US that does not have a state lottery.

The Alabama Track Owners Association is a partnership of the owners of the four greyhound race tracks in the state. This includes the Poarch Creek Indians.

The plan is to build the casino resorts at four existing racing tracks in Mobile, Eutaw, Shorter, and Birmingham. Casinos could also be developed at current gaming locations in Lowndes County and close to Dothan. In all, lawmakers estimate that this bill could create between 10,000 and 15,000 full-time jobs. Supporters of the bill say that many of these jobs would be in struggling areas that are not home to major industries.

Plans for the new session

Senator Greg Albritton has already outlined his plan to sponsor the gaming bill during the 2022 session. He said that it would be very similar to the previous version that the Senate approved last year. Alabama’s 2022 legislative session begins on Tuesday.

Alabama residents have access to a very limited range of gambling options. The main options are tribal casinos, pari-mutuel simulcast betting, electronic bingo, and daily fantasy sports.

A constitutional amendment would be necessary in order to turn this bill into law. Therefore, if lawmakers give their seal of approval, the issue will be put to a public vote. It appears that Governor Kay Ivey is in favor of gambling expansion. Last year, the bill died on the final day after a breakdown in negotiations among lawmakers in the House. The Senate had already passed the bill.