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Legal Alabama Poker & Laws

Alabama Legal Poker
Legal Alabama Poker & Laws
Last Updated November 17, 2018

Poker players in Alabama generally have a lot of questions when it comes to the gambling laws of their state, especially whether it’s legal to play online poker in Alabama and where you can play.  In this guide to gambling in Alabama, we’re going to cover legal online poker options in AL and then survey a host of interesting facts and resources related to gambling in the state of Alabama.

Update as of 2018

This section is an updated version of the original article. While the the information on this page is correct, some new legislation might be in effect since this page was originally written. We’ve left the orginal article in tact below the new information.

Is Gambling Legal in Alabama?

Type/CodeSummary
State Code Section(s)13A.12.20-30; 13A.12.90-92; 34.6.12-13
Definition of GamblingGambling: A person engages in gambling if he 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, upon an agreement or understanding that he or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.
Definition of Contest of ChanceContest of chance: Any contest, game, gaming scheme or gaming device in which the outcome depends in a material degree upon an element of chance, notwithstanding that skill of the contestants may also be a factor therein. (Poker is not specified.)
Online Poker/GamblingThere have been no serious attempts to legalize and regulate online poker or internet casino games for players in Alabama.
Live PokerNo live poker is permitted in tribal casinos, which means no established poker rooms exist in Alabama.
CasinosOne tribe operates several casinos in the state per IGRA, but there are no other casinos in Alabama.
Sports BettingAlabama is not yet prepared to consider a sports betting bill.
DFSLawmakers considered S.325 to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports in 2018, but the bill never went to the floor for a vote.
Other Forms of GamblingLive greyhound racing is legal but horseracing is not. Pari-mutuel betting is allowed on dog and horse racing but only via state-licensed operations. Social games are legal in private homes with stipulations.

Alabama State Lottery Bill

In May 2015, Alabama State Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh pushed for a state lottery. Del Marsh and other proponents argued that a state lottery would be worth $400 million a year to the Alabama Treasury. The Tourism & Marketing Committee approved the bill by a 5-3 vote. The same bill would have allowed the state’s 4 racetracks to have casino gaming. Sen. Bill Beasley, a Democrat from Clayton, called for a voice vote on the bill.

The next month, the State Senate killed the bill by Del Marsh in a wider vote. This led Former Auburn University football coach Pat Dye and former Alabama Power Co. President Charles McCrary to join the Alabama Jobs Coalition, which pushed for a state lottery and racino gambling. Pat Dye and Charles McCrary claimed not only that the bill would generate $400 million in state revenues each year, but it also would create 11,000 new permanent jobs.

Over the course of the summer of 2015, the Alabama Jobs Coalition continued to publicize the bill. In September 2015, Huntsville Sen. Paul Sanford asked the Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee to consider a lottery bill which would approve a state lottery. Under terms of the bill, Alabama would join the Powerball and Mega Million multi-state lottery associations. Del Marsh declined to have the committee vote on the bill, effectively ending any chance of a lottery bill being passed in 2015.

In February 2016, the Alabama House Economic Development and Tourism Committee voted to approve a lottery bill which was supported by Rep. Alan Harper, R-Northport. This bill would approve a state lottery and participation in the multi-state lottery associations. Funds would be shared between the Education Trust Fund and the General Fund. This stripped-down version of the bill is still being discussed. In Alabama’s upper house, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said he would need to see how the funds were allotted before he would say whether he would support the bill or not.

If passed, Alan Harper’s bill would place a lottery referendum on the November 2016 ballot. The likelihood of a lottery passing in Alabama is small, because the state’s leaders have been against such a bill traditionally. Politicians like Rich Wingo and Paul Hicks opposed the bill on social conservative grounds, saying God would not support the state, if gambling were passed. Arnold Mooney opposed the bill on economic conservative grounds, saying such a fundraising method is regressive and it would grow the size of government.

Top Online Poker Sites in Alabama

With a number of sites to choose from, Alabamians have their pick of the litter when it comes to online poker rooms.  Based on bonus value and room conditions, we’ve selected the top rooms for Alabama online poker players and listed them here.

All Poker and Gambling Laws by State

Alabama in the News
  • April 26th, 2018

    Poker players in Alabama generally have a lot of questions when it comes to the gambling laws of their state, especially whether it’s legal to play online poker in Alabama and where you can play.  In this guide to gambling in Alabama, we’re going to cover legal online poker options

    Read Full
  • January 10th, 2017

    In confirmation hearings on Tuesday, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions said he was “shocked” when he learned that the Department of Justice approved online casinos and online poker in a 2011 opinion. The decision paved the way for online gambling legalization in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. Jeff Sessions’s pronouncement is

    Read Full
  • August 25th, 2016

    The Alabama State Senate passed a lottery bill last week, setting up a vote in the Alabama House of Representatives on Thursday. The bill passed in the Alabama House by a margin of 64-35, 1 vote more than the 63-vote minimum needed to pass. An initial vote was 61-37, but

    Read Full
  • April 13th, 2016

    The Alabama Senate failed to pass a bill this week which would clarify the law on slot machines in non-tribal gaming locations like VictoryLand and GreeneTrack. Sen. Bobby Kingston, a Democrat from Greensboro, sponsored the bill, but it came up 4 votes short of the necessary 21 for passage. Alabama

    Read Full

About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including PokerStars.com and has been followed the US market closely for the last 7 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

Disclaimer: The information on this site is my interpretation of the laws as made available online. It is in no way meant to serve as legal advice or instruction. We recommend that you seek legal advice from a licensed attorney for further or official guidance.

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