There will Officially be No Legalization of Alabama Sports Betting in 2024

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: May 11, 2024 08:00 PM
There will Officially be No Legalization of Alabama Sports Betting in 2024

Another Alabama sports betting attempt has officially failed.

Technically speaking, it failed a while ago. The Senate removed the Alabama sports betting provision from a larger state lottery bill and sent it back to the House of Representatives for approval. However, there was hope that sports wagering could make it back onto the bigger proposal, since it gained so much traction in the House.

Inevitably, though, sports gambling language never made it back into the larger package. And not only that, but the push to legalize and create an Alabama state lottery wound up flopping altogether.

Naturally, plenty of questions are surging to the surface following the latest failure to legalize sports betting in the Crimson State. Chief among them: After entering 2024 with gobs of optimism, what caused the attempt to green light sports betting in Alabama to implode altogether? Also: What does this mean for the timeline to legalize sports gambling in the Crimson State? Will it be another year? Two? Four? More?

Let’s dive into the latest developments in search of some answers.

Why Alabama Sports Betting was Removed from the State Lottery Bill

With support from Governor Kay Ivey and many other key officials, Alabama sports betting entered 2024 legislative meetings with tons of momentum. And then, back in early March, everything started to change. What went wrong, exactly? 

Months later, it isn’t totally clear. Complicated still, it sounds like lawmakers understand they’re leaving a bunch of revenue on the table. Senator Bobby Singleton effectively said that everybody knows Alabamans use top online sportsbooks allowed in the United States to bet on sports right now. And that sentiment, in theory, should support legalization. Most states have made it clear they prefer to legalize and regular online sports betting rather than let residents send money to offshore companies. 

Reading between the lines, it seems like too many Crimson State officials believe legal online sports betting in the USA needs more regulation. While they simply could have amended the bill to include other mechanisms to police it, there’s no guarantee it would have worked. 

In particular, popular online betting sites in the USA may have pushed back against more restrictive language. Certain markets have the leverage to be more aggressive with regulatory practices. As a state without a pro sports team and a relatively low population, Alabama isn’t one of them.

Sports gambling enthusiasts will no doubt be bummed by the latest development. And yet, things may get worse before they get better.

Failure to Legalize Alabama State Lottery in 2024 Could Have Dramatic Repercussions on Future of Sports Gambling

Nearly everyone is in agreement that the legalization of Alabama sports betting will require the creation of an Alabama state lottery. So even if sports wagering didn’t make it over the hump, the approval of a lottery would have gone a long way. 

As it turns out, though, both House Bill 151 and House Bill 152—measures that would have formed a state lottery—failed to make it through the Senate. Legal Sports Report’s Pat Evans unpacked what went wrong:

“Alabama is one of five states without a lottery. Lawmakers have proposed a lottery nearly every year since 1999, the last time it was up for a statewide vote. In recent years, multiple packages have emerged from the Senate but fell flat in the House. This year looked a bit different, with those Senate bills informing a House attempt that included online sports betting and full casino gaming.

While the House passed the lottery package, 70-32 and 67-31, the Senate stripped large pieces of the proposal out, including sports betting and casino gaming. A conference committee pieced together a final attempt [that included] the Alabama Lottery, electronic games of chance at seven locations, Compact negotiations with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

The takeaway here: Alabama’s primary issue currently lies in the Senate. And that might not change. Both the formation of a lottery and legalization of sports betting require a constitutional amendment. That means any bill needs to pass with two-thirds support from the Senate—a high bar the Crimson State came nowhere close to hitting in 2024.

Alabama Sports Betting Timeline Remains Fuzzy

Lawmakers will assuredly attempt to legalize Alabama sports gambling again, perhaps as soon as next year. But because an initiative must appear on an electoral ballot, the earliest it can be approved by voters is in 2026. 

Now, this gives the Alabama House and Senate two more tries to get on the same page. For some, that’s a silver lining in all this. For others? Not so much.

Truth be told, we’re not sure where we land on the matter. On the one hand, support for Alabama sports betting is on the rise. On the other hand, if the state cannot even figure out how to legalize a lottery, should we really expect everyone to get on the same page for sports betting over the next two years?

Color us skeptical. Yes, the concrete interest in sports gambling is a big step. And it certainly helps that, by next year, up to 40 or more states could have some form of legal sports betting. That type of majority could start to resonate with Alabama lawmakers.

Then again, 38 states currently have sports betting. That apparently isn’t enough to shape the Alabama discussion. The more we think about it, the more we arrive at a different conclusion: It might take the election of enough new Senate matters for the Crimson State to legalize sports gambling anytime soon.

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can find one that works for all of your sports betting needs:

  • EXCLUSIVE BONUS
    Bovada
    5/5
    50% bonus up to $250
    No Code Needed
    Play Now

    T&C apply, 18+, Play responsibly

  • BetOnline
    4.5/5
    100% bonus up to $1000
    No Code Needed
    Play Now

    T&C apply, 18+, Play responsibly

  • EXCLUSIVE BONUS
    BetUS
    5/5
    125% up to $2,500
    No Code Needed
    Play Now

    T&C apply, 18+, Play responsibly

  • Xbet
    5/5
    $500 Sign-up Bonus
    No Code Needed
    Play Now

    T&C apply, 18+, Play responsibly

  • BetNow
    4/5
    100% up to $1,000
    No Code Needed
    Play Now

    T&C apply, 18+, Play responsibly

  • MyBookie
    5/5
    50% bonus up to $1000
    No Code Needed
    Play Now

    T&C apply, 18+, Play responsibly

  • Bookmaker
    4/5
    100% up to $400
    No Code Needed
    Play Now

    T&C apply, 18+, Play responsibly

  • Sportsbetting
    4.5/5
    50% up to $1000
    No Code Needed
    Play Now

    T&C apply, 18+, Play responsibly

  • EveryGame
    3/5
    $500 Sign Up Bonus
    No Code Needed
    Play Now

    T&C apply, 18+, Play responsibly

  • WagerWeb
    4.5/5
    100% up to $1,000
    No Code Needed
    Play Now

    T&C apply, 18+, Play responsibly

  • BetDSI
    3/5
    100% up to $500 + $500 at BetDsi's Casino
    No Code Needed
    Play Now

    T&C apply, 18+, Play responsibly

  • BetNow
    4/5
    100% up to $450
    No Code Needed
    Play Now

    T&C apply, 18+, Play responsibly

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

Online Sports Betting may receive compensation if you sign up through our links. Rest assured, we avoid biases and provide honest opinions on sportsbooks. Read our affiliate disclosure here.