As California is finally moving forward legislation to legalize online poker, two other states are considering moves to expand gambling. Should these proposals become successful, they could become future candidates for online gambling expansion.
Senator Del Marsh of Alabama is rumored to be introducing legislation later this week that would legalize both the lottery and Vegas-style casino games in the state. Meanwhile, the Iowa Lottery is considering whether to offer online lottery sales.
Alabama Senate Leader Wants to Legalize Gambling
Is Alabama the next state to legalize the lottery and Vegas-style gambling? If Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh has it way, it will. According to AL.com, Marsh may be introducing legislation later this week that would legalize both the lottery and Vegas-style gambling in the state.
Marsh’s proposition to legalize gambling comes as the state faces a short-term budget shortfall of $200 million and maybe as much as $700 million long term. His hope is to legalize gambling and use that to fill the gap in the budget rather than raise taxes.
Lottery, Gaming Would Generate $400 Million in Revenue Creates 11,000 New Jobs, $1.2 BILLION Economic Impact… http://t.co/9fSnrfsZZA— Del Marsh (@SenatorDelMarsh) April 27, 2015
Marsh commissioned Auburn University at Montgomery to conduct a study on gambling and shared those results during a press conference on Monday. According to the study, gambling in the state could bring in a combined $400 million in state revenue. Of that figure, $332 million would come from the state lottery while the rest would come from table games that include poker.
However, the odds of any such proposal actually becoming legal are long. The state tried to legalize the lottery back in 1999 and it was ultimately defeated. Alabama is also part of the Bible Belt and many voters will be turned off due to morality concerns surrounding gambling.
Iowa Lottery Considering Online Ticket Sales
Alabama was not the only state talking gambling expansion on Monday. The Iowa Lottery is also considering whether to pursue online ticket sales. According to WNAX.com, the Iowa Lottery is closely monitoring states offering online lottery sales in order to decide whether it is a good fit for the state.
CEO Terry Rich testified in front of the Iowa House Government Oversight Committee on Monday to share his views on the future of the state lottery. He started by informing the panel that Iowa Lottery has the authority to conduct iGaming based the DOJ opinion from 2011 regarding the Wire Act.
Rich continued that he believed that online lottery ticket sales would become socially acceptable in the future and that it was just a matter of time before this occurred. Furthermore, he believes that the lottery must adapt “to player expectations for convenience and use of technology” or face a loss of ticket sales in the future.