Minnesota, Alabama Lawmakers Hopeful of Passing Gambling Legislation in Next Sessions

  • Minnesota Senator Bigham hopes for a special legislative session to push through sports betting
  • There’s optimism in Alabama for lottery and gambling legislation getting approval next year
  • Minnesota officials just missed out on passing betting legislation in the normal session this year
  • As 2023 is the first of a four-year term for Alabama lawmakers, it’s more likely a bill will pass
Fingers crossed
Lawmakers in Alabama and Minnesota are hopeful of passing gambling-related legislation in upcoming legislative sessions. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Fingers crossed

As lawmakers across the US reflect on the most recent legislative sessions, many wonder what might have been. They are now looking ahead to the next sessions and getting ready to bring new bills to the fore, optimistic about their chances.

a special legislative session could offer a chance to pass betting

Despite failed attempts during the regular legislative session, a Minnesota lawmaker is still hopeful of legalizing sports betting in 2022. Senator Karla Bigham believes a special legislative session could offer a chance to pass betting. It is the last chance saloon for Senator Bigham who is departing the legislature in January following eight years of service in the Senate and House.

There is also optimism in Alabama regarding gambling and lottery legislation in the next legislative session. Senator Greg Albritton’s gambling bill proved unsuccessful in the last session. It would have allowed for the creation of a state lottery, as well as the development of casinos and a gaming compact with the Poarch Creek Indians. He’s now working hard to try to get the measure over the line next time out. 

Bigham’s last stand

Minnesota Senator Bigham believes that the state is very close to passing wagering legislation. Benefiting her cause, the state’s tribes finally supported legalization efforts recently, with a House-approved bill receiving support from nine of the ten Minnesota Indian Gaming Association tribes in May. However, the Senate voted against it as it gave the tribes exclusivity over both online and retail sports betting.

During the last week of the regular legislative session, lawmakers in Minnesota called on tribes to agree to let the state’s racetracks also offer betting. While there was a last-minute agreement, the legislative leaders didn’t sign off on any legislation due to a few final concerns.

Senator Bigham believes that a special session could see the matter finally get over the line. They are normally reserved for very urgent or emergency issues. Bigham believes that such a session would need to take place following the primary election on August 9 and before Labor Day on September 5.

As Bigham is an outgoing legislative member and a part of the minority party, she does not have much power to push for a special session. However, she is allied with the Senate majority leader Jeremy Miller, who could push for the issue.

Hope for Alabama in 2023

Alabama is just one of five states in the US that does not even have a state lottery. After failing to pass gambling legislation this year, the state’s next hopes rest on the legislative session in March 2023.

wants the public to have their say on the matter

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has expressed regret that lawmakers did not manage to pass any sort of gambling bill during this year’s session. She wants the public to have their say on the matter, while Senator Albritton is adamant that the state of Alabama has to take control of the gambling sector to benefit from it. 

Leading political analyst Steve Flowers believes that one of the main reasons for the lack of success for gambling-related bills in Alabama was because 2022 was an election year. It is usually more likely that a major bill will get the necessary support during the first year of a lawmaker’s four-year term. As a result, Flowers believes legislation could pass in the next session.