When it comes to gambling Alabama is one of the strictest jurisdictions in the United States of America. Nearly every form of gambling, with the exception of pari-mutuel wagering and, in some cases, bingo slot machines, are illegal in Alabama. So, what about sports betting in Alabama? Let’s find out. Read on for a comprehensive overview of the sports betting situation in Alabama.
Is it legal to bet on sports in Alabama?
No, sports wagering is currently illegal in the state of Alabama and it is not expected to be legalized any time soon. Lawmakers have yet to make a solid attempt to introduce sports wagering legislation. While other states that are very restrictive have approved sports wagering, it’s important to consider the situation in Alabama.
In Alabama, there is no state lottery, and every year a piece of legislation to bring in a state-run lottery is introduced and is shot down with very little effort. In a state where there is not enough support to bring in a lottery, legalized sports betting seems incredibly unlikely.
In early 2018, Rep. Mac McCutheon made a statement to WHNT 19, explaining how far away the state is from legalizing sports wagering. In the statement, McCutheon said: “It goes deeper than just a religious belief of gambling one way or the other. It goes into the bingo machines, the counties that have local legislation that allow those to be there. The dog track issue. All of this plays in. It’s more complicated than taking a simple vote on the lottery. I would like to see us get back to a lottery issue first, before we muddy the water if you will with all these other things out there.”
While McCutheon was discussing the issue of a state lottery, it goes to show that the state of Alabama has along way to go before the legislature will consider authorising other forms of gambling.
In the absence of sports wagering, residents can participate in real-money daily fantasy sports contests. Fantasy sports sites must register with the Office of the Attorney General and adhere to the state’s regulations. In addition to fantasy sports, residents can place pari-mutuel wagers on horseracing, both in person at one of the state’s racetracks or online.
Where will I be able to place bets on sporting events in Alabama?
It is not yet clear where sports wagering could take place in Alabama as no legislation has been introduced. However, the state houses several racetracks and tribal casinos which could offer in-person sports wagering. Online sports betting is another option, but again, the state will need to first introduce sports wagering legislation.
What sports will I be able to bet on Alabama?
As previously mentioned the state has not made an effort to legalize sports betting, but if it chooses to follow the example set by other states, Alabama bettors may be able to wager on a variety of professional and collegiate sports including football, basketball, hockey, baseball, and soccer.
What else can I bet on in Alabama
While sports betting is still illegal in the state, residents can still partake in some legal forms of gambling. A handful of tribal casinos operate in the state but can only offer electronic bingo games. Alabama’s gambling laws prohibit table games such as blackjack and poker in the state.
As previously mentioned, residents in Alabama can also participate in online horseracing betting and daily fantasy sports contests.
The state is very unlikely to expand its gambling options anytime soon. Authorities in the state routinely raid businesses that are suspected of hosting electronic bingo games that don’t conform to state regulations and the local media publish anti-gambling pieces and reports on a regular basis.
Are offshore gambling sites legal in Alabama?
No. Alabama considers all betting sites that operate without authorization from the state as illegal enterprises. Not only are offshore gambling sites illegal, but we’d also recommend steering clear because there is no regulation to protect players. This means sites may not be secure or may not have measures in place to protect vulnerable players. There is also no way of knowing who is accountable for handling the money you deposit into these online accounts.
You can spot offshore gambling sites by looking at the website’s domain name. Domains ending .EU or .AG do not hold a license to operate in Alabama and should, therefore, be avoided at all costs.
Will it be safe to bet on sports in Alabama?
Given that the state has incredibly strict gambling laws, it is likely that it will only allow sports wagering to be conducted if they deem it safe. This means that Alabama residents can rest assured that if sports wagering does become legal in the state, it will be a safe and fair activity.
If you’re worried that you, or someone you know, may have issues with problem gambling, you can contact the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). The Alabama Council on Compulsive Gambling also offers a variety of resources to those how feel they may have a gambling problem.
Contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline via:
Who regulates gambling in Alabama?
The Alabama Racing Commission is responsible for overseeing horseracing wagering in the state of Alabama.
How old do I have to be to gamble in Alabama?
Alabama residents hoping to place pari-mutuel wagers on horse racing must be 18 while casino patrons must be 21-year-old.
The journey to legal and regulated sports betting in Alabama
1901 – The Alabama State constitution banned all forms of gambling with broad wording. The constitution defined gambling as, “stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence.”
1971 – Pari-mutuel betting at greyhound racing and horseracing tracks was ruled legal by the Supreme Court. The Alabama Racing Commission was made responsible for overseeing this activity.
1980 – Charitable bingo gambling games are launched in the state.
1988 – Casinos were made legal on tribal land within Alabama under the Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
1992 – Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) prohibiting sports betting across US states. Four states were made exempt from the law: Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana. These states had legal sports betting regulations in place.
2018 – In a 7 – 2 vote it was agreed that one of the clauses in PASPA violated the Tenth Amendment, as it commandeered power from states to regulate their own gambling industries. This paved the way for all US states to decide whether or not to legalize sports betting. In the weeks after the repeal of PASPA several US sportsbooks began to launch across the country.
Make sure to check back with Compare.bet US for more updates on legal sports betting in Alabama.