Alabama has been one of the more conservative states when it comes to gambling operations. However, the COVID-19 situation has forced a number of conservative states including Texas and Alabama to reconsider their stance on betting.
Representative John Rogers introduced House Bill 161 which looks to legalize retail, mobile and Alabama online sports betting in Alabama. The Bill has provision for up to seven sports betting licenses to be granted and for the Alabama Sports Wagering Commission (ASWC) to be the official betting regulator.
The license fee for each permit is fixed at $100,000 and will be valid for a period of five years.
Betting operators will have the option to renew their licenses after this period and will have to pay a renewal fee of $100,000. License holders will be allowed to offer retail, online and mobile sports betting.
Supplier licenses can also be issued under this bill. Each supplier license will cost just $1,000 and the renewal fee is also fixed at $1,000. The same $1,000 license fee and renewal fee will also be applied to management license holders who are providing services to betting operators.
More Details On HB 161
HB 161 will not only allow betting on domestic and international sports but also has provision for betting on collegiate sports. Bettors will have to be physically present within Alabama to register and must be over the age of 21 to do so.
Betting operators will have to pay out a ten percent tax on adjusted gross betting receipts on a weekly basis. These taxes will need to be remitted to the ASWC. The Bill also pushes for a Sports Wagering Fund to be established. The ASWC will retain 15 percent of funds (they can retain a max of $250,000 each month) received while the remaining 85 percent will be transferred to the Sports
The Sports Wagering Fund will use this money to issue scholarships for higher education across the state. HB 161 is currently being reviewed by the Economic Development and Tourism Committee in the House of Representatives. Should the bill get all the required approvals including the signature of the Governor Kay Ivey, it will come into effect on March 1, 2021.
Alabama pushed forward with HB 336 which was similar to HB 161 but did not get approval in 2020.