The Poarch Band of Creek Indians has been pushing for a gaming compact with the state of Alabama for several months, but that agreement won’t be finalized until research is done to study the effects of gambling in the state.
According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Gov. Kay Ivey said last week that she wouldn’t consider signing anything until she is given the numbers.
Alabama is a state without gambling of any real significance. There is no state lottery and the handful of tribal casinos in the state do not offer table games of any kind. Those casinos are Class II gaming facilities that are only permitted to offer electronic bingo. Traditional slot machines and table games require a Class III license.
Along with a gaming compact that would bring traditional casino gaming to the state, the legislature is pushing for legislation that would bring a state lottery with it.
“Anytime I ask people how much money the lottery would bring in, they say ‘I think about…,” Ivey said. “We’ve got to have the facts to make a decision.”
Rep. Steve Clouse, a Republican that chairs the House Ways and Means General Fund, is still planning on introducing lottery legislation in the coming weeks. He feels that after a conversation with the governor, he can convince her that it would be a positive development for the state.
“I’m going to give it a couple of weeks before I introduce it,” Clouse told the _Montgomery Advertiser. “But I’m still going to introduce it. Hopefully next week at this time we’ll sit and talk.”
Clouse estimates that a state lottery would generate $167 million in tax revenue. His proposal would use those funds to help fund the state’s pre-k program and also fund the state’s college tuition aid program.
In an interview with AL.com last November, Poarch Creek tribal chair and CEO, Stephanie Bryan, said that the gaming compact would generate about $350 million in yearly tax revenue. On top of those yearly figures, she estimated that the state would receive $750 million from license fees, economic development and payments for Class III gaming.