February 23, 2024 11:00am

Alabama's gambling proposal

Here's how influential Birmingham leaders feel about the bill that would expand gambling in Alabama

Photo of Ty West
Birmingham, AL Correspondent

A bill that would significantly expand gambling in Alabama has broad support among influential Birmingham leaders.

That's one takeaway from the latest Birmingham Power Poll — a monthly, unscientific poll of local leaders from a variety of industries.

About 78% of respondents said they support the law, which would create a lottery, authorize new casinos and allow sports betting.

The bill would allow new casinos in several cities, including one in metro Birmingham. About 73% of respondends believe a new casino would have a positive impact on the region.

Potential revenue for the state is a primary driver of support for the legislation among local leaders, with 44% of leaders saying they favor the bill because Alabama is currently losing revenue to other states which already have a lottery, casinos or both. Additionally, another 27% of respondents say they support the bill because of the potential impact of the new revenue.

Among those who oppose the plan, the biggest reasons are the potential impact on poverty (15%) and a preference for a lottery-only plan that doesn't include new casinos or sports betting.

While past efforts to pass similar bills have stalled, 53% of Birmingham Power Poll respondents believe the legislation will pass.

Of course, even if lawmakers approve the bill, voters would still need to approve a constitutional amendment in November to make it a reality.

Power Poll Members: Do you have a friend or colleague who should be on Power Poll? Please invite them to join!

About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.

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