Alabama Sports Betting: The Latest Insights on Legalization Prospects and Timeline

Alabama Legal Sports Betting Overview

AL Sports Betting Law Details

– Retail Sports Betting Launch Date: N/A
– Online Sports Betting Launch Date: N/A
– Licensed Sportsbooks: N/A
– Legal Wagering Options: N/A
– Legal Gambling Age in AL: 21+
– Sports to Bet On: N/A
– Permitted Banking Options: N/A
– Alabama Gambling Regulator: N/A

There are currently no legal options for sports betting in Alabama. Both retail and online sportsbooks are outlawed in the state. Despite several attempts, such as Senator Greg Albritton’s introduction of SB 293 and SB 294 in 2022, which aimed to legalize betting, no legislation has passed. However, Senator Albritton plans to introduce another sports betting bill in 2023. Should this bill progress, it may include provisions similar to SB 294, which proposed issuing four retail sportsbook licenses to Alabama’s racetracks and allowing four online betting sites to launch. SB 294 also suggested the establishment of a sports betting commission to regulate wagering in the state. If these measures succeed, Alabama may join the ranks of legal sports betting states by late 2023 or 2024. Stay informed by reading our comprehensive guide to sports betting in Alabama, where we provide updates on legislation, legal online betting options, and nearby states that offer sports wagering opportunities.

Alabama Online Sportsbooks Summary

Online sports betting is currently illegal in Alabama. However, there have been attempts to legalize it, including SB 294 in 2022, although all legislative efforts have failed thus far. Another attempt is expected in 2023, and it is likely that the bill will include provisions for mobile sports betting. Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) were initially made illegal in Alabama in 2016 but were later legalized by HB 361 in June 2019. Popular DFS platforms such as ESPN, Boom, Yahoo!, FantasyDraft, DraftKings, and FanDuel now offer DFS games to Alabama residents. In addition to DFS, online horse racing betting is legal in the state through platforms like BetAmerica, TVG, and TwinSpires. Among the neighboring states, only Tennessee permits online sports betting, with 12 online sportsbooks available, including BetMGM, Caesars, and Barstool Sportsbook. Mississippi only allows retail sports betting at 29 different casinos, with DraftKings and FanDuel among the prominent brands operating in the state.

How to Place a Bet in Alabama

Although sports betting is not legal in Alabama, residents can still place bets on horse races online. If you are new to online wagering, follow these step-by-step guidelines to get started:
1. Research the horse races you wish to bet on, considering factors such as form and turf conditions to increase your chances of making successful wagers.
2. Choose a reputable horse racing betting site like BetAmerica, TwinSpires, or TVG.
3. Register an account on the selected site by providing your full name, address, date of birth, and the last four digits of your Social Security number. These details are essential for fraud prevention and ensuring compliance with age restrictions.
4. In the site’s cashier section, select a convenient deposit method and add funds to your account. Take advantage of any welcome bonuses available by depositing the required amount.
5. Explore the horse racing markets offered by the site and select the wager you want to make. Add it to your bet slip, specify your stake amount, and place your bet.
6. If your bet wins, return to the cashier section to follow the instructions for withdrawing your winnings.

Banking Methods Available in Alabama

When participating in legal online horse racing betting in Alabama, you can make deposits using various trusted payment methods. While most sites accept Visa and Mastercard, the availability of transactions with other bank cards may be limited due to policies that have not been updated since the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) in 2018. Additionally, e-wallets like PayPal and Skrill are often accepted for convenient deposits and withdrawals. PayNearMe cards allow you to top up your balance at local retailers such as CVS and Walgreens, and you can use these cards to deposit funds into your betting account. If online sports betting becomes legal in Alabama, similar payment methods will likely be available with sportsbooks, alongside payment options tailored specifically for online gambling, such as Play+ cards.

Who is Eligible to Bet in AL?

The legal age for gambling in Alabama depends on the specific gambling activity. To place horse racing bets, individuals must be at least 18 years old. Participation in Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) competitions requires a minimum age of 19. Although the legal minimum age for casino gambling is technically 18, Alabama casinos serve alcohol, effectively raising the minimum gambling age to 21. If sports betting is legalized in Alabama, the minimum age for betting will likely be set at 21, in line with most other legal betting states in the US. Additionally, when online sports betting becomes available, individuals will need to be physically located within the state of Alabama and activate geolocation services on their mobile devices to verify their location. Certain individuals, such as professional athletes, coaches, referees, and those with access to non-public information about sports teams, may be prohibited from placing sports bets in Alabama. Additionally, individuals with exclusions from gambling activities, individuals prohibited from betting on a state or federal level due to criminal history, and those employed by licensed sports betting organizations would likely be prohibited from betting.

Latest Alabama Sports Betting Updates

As of now, sports betting remains illegal in Alabama, despite several attempts to pass legislation in 2019, 2021, and 2022. However, Senator Albritton intends to submit new sports betting bills in 2023. During the 2022 legislative session, SB 293 and SB 294 failed to proceed to a vote. However, Senator Albritton has confirmed his commitment to pursuing sports betting legislation and is actively engaging with House members and the governor’s office to gauge their support. The passage of SB 294 would have allowed for the legalization of retail and online sports betting, issuance of retail licenses to Alabama’s racetracks, establishment of a lottery in the state, and the creation of a new sports betting commission. In 2019, Governor Ivey signed HB 361, which legalized Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games in Alabama, providing residents with access to platforms like ESPN, Boom, Yahoo!, FantasyDraft, DraftKings, and FanDuel. While Alabama continues to explore the possibility of legalizing sports betting, neighboring Tennessee offers online sports betting through 12 different sportsbooks, including prominent brands like BetMGM, Caesars, and Barstool Sportsbook. Mississippi allows retail sports betting at its 29 casinos, featuring well-known names like DraftKings and FanDuel.

Timeline for Sports Betting in Alabama

– April 4, 2022: SB 294 and SB 293 do not receive a vote during the legislative session, leading to their failure. Senator Albritton announces his plans to introduce new sports betting bills in 2023.
– March 3, 2022: SB 294, known as the “Gambling Control Bill,” is introduced to the Senate along with SB 293. SB 293 proposes a constitutional amendment, while SB 294 provides detailed legislation. Sponsored by Senator Albritton, these bills aim to legalize both retail and online sports betting in Alabama. The bill suggests granting retail licenses to racetracks and racinos and establishing a lottery in the state.
– April 13, 2021: SB 310, a bill to establish a sports betting regulator (Alabama Gaming Commission) in connection with SB 214, passes the Senate despite SB 214 not progressing.
– March 18, 2021: SB 310, a bill to establish a sports betting regulator in Alabama, is introduced to the Senate alongside SB 214. SB 214 aims to legalize sports betting, renegotiate tribal gaming compacts, and construct six additional tribal casinos with sportsbooks. While SB 214 receives three readings in the Senate, it does not advance further.
– February 9, 2021: SB 214, a bill to legalize sports betting and renegotiate tribal gaming compacts, is introduced to the Senate by Senator Del Marsh. The bill also proposes the construction of six tribal casinos to offer sports betting. Despite receiving three readings in the Senate, SB 214 does not advance.
– May 29, 2019: Governor Ivey signs HB 361, legalizing Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games in Alabama.
– April 4, 2019: HB 361, a bill to legalize Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in Alabama, is introduced by Representative Kyle South.
– April 2, 2019: HB 315, a bill to legalize sports betting in Alabama, is introduced to the House but does not gain momentum and ultimately fails to advance.
– May 14, 2018: The US Supreme Court overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), granting states the authority to legalize sports betting.
– April 6, 2016: Alabama Attorney General Luthor Strange declares Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games illegal in the state, resulting in their suspension. However, in 2019, Governor Ivey signs a bill legalizing DFS games, leading to their reintroduction.

Alabama Sports Betting Background

Alabama has a long-standing history of negative attitudes toward gambling and sports betting. In 1901, the state prohibited all forms of gambling. However, in 1902, horse racing and greyhound racing were legalized. Bingo games at tribal casinos were authorized in 1980. Despite these provisions, Alabama has yet to implement a state lottery, and the tribal casinos do not offer table games or poker. Sports betting has faced opposition based on conservative and religious grounds. However, momentum has been slowly building in favor of sports betting, with multiple bills passing the Senate in recent years. In 2019, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) was legalized, offering Alabama residents an opportunity to participate in online sports games. The future of sports betting in Alabama appears promising, with Senator Albritton committed to submitting new legislation in 2023. If approved, this legislation could result in the launch of retail sportsbooks at racetracks, the availability of online sports betting, and potential gaming compacts with tribal casinos. Prominent sportsbooks such as Betfred, FanDuel, DraftKings, and Caesars are among the likely candidates to enter the Alabama market, given their presence in neighboring states and the popularity of their platforms.

Alabama Sports Betting Locations

Currently, Alabama does not have any legal sports betting locations. However, there are three tribal casinos operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in the state. These casinos do not offer table games and solely host electronic bingo games resembling casino slots. There have been discussions about allowing sports betting to launch at tribal casinos through the renegotiation of tribal gaming compacts, as proposed in SB 214. The bill also suggests the introduction of six more tribal casinos in Alabama that would offer retail sports wagering. If legislation such as SB 294 is passed, Alabama’s racetracks could also feature land-based racinos and retail sportsbooks. Senator Albritton has confirmed his intention to reintroduce the bill in 2023, presenting further opportunities for sports betting locations in Alabama. In the absence of local sportsbooks, residents can cross the border to neighboring Mississippi to access 29 retail sportsbooks located at various casinos. These casinos feature reputable brands such as Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel. Alternatively, residents can travel to Tennessee, where 12 online sportsbooks, including BetMGM, Caesars, and Barstool Sportsbook, are available.

Alabama Lottery Locations

Alabama currently does not have a state lottery, similar to Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah. Previous legislative attempts, such as SB 319 and SB 310 in 2021, included provisions for legalizing a lottery in Alabama, but these bills did not advance. SB 294, introduced in 2022, also addressed the formation of a lottery. However, another attempt to legalize a lottery is expected in 2023, offering a future opportunity for Alabama residents to participate in lottery games.

Off-Track and Stadium Betting Locations

Sports betting is not legal in Alabama, which means individuals cannot visit sports venues to place wagers. However, pari-mutuel betting is available at the state’s four racetracks, overseen by the Alabama Department of Revenue. Although live racing is no longer conducted in the state, simulcast betting is permitted at the racetracks. Additionally, Alabama hosts various speedways where motorsports races and dirt rallying take place. Notably, the Talladega Superspeedway, the longest NASCAR oval in the US, is a renowned venue in Alabama.

Location Address Phone Number
Birmingham Race Course 1000 John Rogers Drive, Birmingham, AL 35235 (205) 838-7500
Greenetrack 524 County Road 208, Eutaw, AL 35462 (205) 372-9318
Mobile Greyhound Park 7101 Old Pascagoula Road, Theodore, AL 36582 (251) 653-5000
VictoryLand Casino 8680 County Road 40, Shorter, AL 36075 (334) 727-0540

Alabama Responsible Gambling Resources

For individuals experiencing problem gambling, various resources are available in Alabama:
– Alabama National Council on Problem Gambling: This organization guides individuals to local support resources, providing a 24/7 live chat and helpline at (800) 522-4700.
– Alabama Council on Compulsive Gambling: This council offers counseling services to problem gamblers and individuals affected by problem gambling. It also provides educational materials on the topic. Contact them at (334) 277-5100.
– Gamblers Anonymous: Gamblers Anonymous organizes meetings where individuals can share their experiences with problem gambling and participate in treatment programs. Reach them at (251) 378-5018.

While tribal casinos in Alabama do not offer a joint self-exclusion program, future legal sportsbooks in the state, overseen by the proposed Alabama Gaming Commission, are likely to implement responsible gambling measures such as deposit limits and time limits, similar to those enforced in other states.

Teams to Bet on in Alabama

Pro Sports:
There are no professional sports teams based in Alabama. However, as the state is surrounded by neighboring states with major league teams, residents often support teams from the following states: Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. In football, the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers represent Florida, while the Atlanta Falcons are Georgia’s NFL team. In basketball, Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat are popular teams, along with the Orlando Magic. For baseball, Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins are notable teams, along with Tampa Bay Rays. In ice hockey, the Nashville Predators, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, and Atlanta Thrashers garner support. It is worth noting that Alabama residents can potentially enjoy online sports betting through neighboring Tennessee, where major sportsbooks such as DraftKings and FanDuel are available.

Minor League Sports:
Alabama hosts multiple minor league sports teams that residents can support. Basketball fans can cheer for the Birmingham Squadron, a team in the NBA G-League affiliated with the New Orleans Pelicans. Baseball enthusiasts have three minor league options in Alabama: the Birmingham Barons, the Montgomery Biscuits, and the Rocket City Trash Pandas. The Barons, a Double-A affiliate of the MLB’s Chicago White Sox, have a rich history dating back to 1885. The Biscuits, a Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, have played in Montgomery since 2004. The Trash Pandas, established in 2020, are a Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels. In football, the Birmingham Stallions represent Alabama in the United States Football League (USFL), winning the league championship in 2022. College sports also play a significant role in Alabama, with well-known teams like the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers gaining immense support.

How Does Alabama Compare to Other States?

Market Coverage:
As sports betting remains illegal in Alabama, residents miss out on a wide range of wagering markets. Neighboring states like Tennessee and Mississippi offer major US sportsbooks, including Caesars, WynnBET, and Barstool Sportsbook, covering popular sports like NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. These sportsbooks also provide betting lines for niche sports such as NASCAR, MMA, and European soccer. Collegiate wagering may also be allowed in Alabama, as previous legislation did not impose restrictions on betting on NCAA matchups. This means that if similar proposals are made and approved in the future, fans could potentially bet on popular college football matchups like the Iron Bowl between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers.

Competitive Odds & Prices:
When sports betting becomes legal in Alabama, residents can expect major US sportsbooks to enter the market. Established brands like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM, operating in numerous states, would likely offer competitive odds to attract bettors. The presence of multiple betting sites ensures competition among sportsbooks, which ultimately benefits customers by compelling operators to provide generous betting odds across all US states where they operate.

Gambling Revenue:
According to a 2020 study commissioned by Governor Ivey, legalizing sports betting in Alabama could generate up to $10 million in state tax revenue annually. It is important to note that Alabama’s projected revenue may not directly match that of states with comparable sizes but legal sports betting and major league sports teams. By comparing Alabama to Iowa, a state with a similar population (around 3 million), it becomes evident that Alabama has the potential to generate substantial tax revenue. As of July 2022, Iowa has handled over $4.1 billion in wagers, resulting in sportsbook revenue of $254.8 million and tax collections of $18.3 million, with a tax rate of 6.75%. Assuming similar betting revenue levels, Alabama could have collected approximately $50 million in taxes from August 2019 to July 2022, had SB 294’s proposed tax rate of 20% been enacted. Previous iterations of legislation sought to allocate sports betting tax revenue in the following manner: 30% for mental health services, 20% for broadband expansion efforts, 20% for rural health care, 15% for road and bridge projects, and 5% for state parks and historical sites.

Betting Taxes:
All sports bettors in the US are required to report gambling winnings to the IRS. If you win more than $600, you must complete a W-2G form. It is important to note that you can also deduct your gambling losses from your winnings. Sportsbooks have the authority to withhold up to 25% of your winnings for tax purposes. When paying your state income tax, you must include your gambling profits, which vary between 2% and 5% in Alabama. Additionally, sportsbooks must adhere to the Internal Revenue Code and pay a 0.25% excise tax on monthly betting handle, along with a $50 charge per employee involved in accepting wagers.

Who Oversees Sports Betting in Alabama?
As sports betting remains illegal in Alabama, no regulatory body currently oversees the activity. Should sports betting become legalized, the creation of a new organization, similar to the proposed Alabama Gaming Commission outlined in SB 294, would be necessary to regulate sports betting in the state. The Alabama Gaming Commission, as envisioned in SB 310, would be responsible for overseeing sports betting operations and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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