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New bill proposes legal online and land-based sports betting in Alabama


Legislators in Alabama are to run the rule over a new bill that seeks to legalize online, mobile and land-based sports betting in the US state.

Introduced by Representative John Rogers, House Bill 161 would permit betting on professional and collegiate sports events in Alabama, with consumers able to bet in person at licensed venues or with approved online and mobile operators.

The bill would create the Alabama Sports Wagering Commission to regulate the market and take control of the licensing process.

The Commission would be able to issue up to seven licenses for sports betting, with each permit to cost $100,000. Licenses would run for a period of five years, after which the holder would be required to pay a $100,000 renewal fee. Each licensee may offer betting via a digital platform.

Licensees would also be subject to a 10% tax rate on adjusted gross sports betting receipts in the state. This tax would be payable to the Commission in weekly instalments.

The bill would also make available supplier licenses, whereby the holder could lease sports betting equipment or services to another, licensed entity. These licenses would cost an initial $1,000, plus an annual renewal fee of $1,000.

Meanwhile, a management licenses would cost $1,000 to apply for, then $1,000 each year to renew, and would allow the holder to provide management services to a gaming facility licensed to operate sports wagering.

The bill would also see the creation of a Sports Wagering Fund, where money collected through the taxation of sports betting would be deposited and then distributed to different causes.

The Commission would retain 15% of tax money to fund its operations, up to $250,000 per month, while any remaining money would be used to fund higher education scholarships across Alabama.

Consumers would need to be at least 21-years-old in order to place legal sports bets in the state.

Should the bill gain the relevant approvals, it would come into effect on the first day of the third month after its passage and approval by the state’s Governor.

The bill is currently with the Alabama House of Representatives’ committee on Economic Development and Tourism.

Rogers’ introduction of the new bill comes after the Representative last year also out forward proposals to legalize land-based and online sports betting in the state. House Bill 336 was put to the House in March 2020, but did not progress forward.

The bill was similar in parts to House Bill 161, in that licensees would face a 10% tax rate and would need to pay $100,000 for a permit, but proposed only offering four licenses for sports betting.