Gambling legislation has cleared its first hurdle in the Alabama Legislature.
The Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee voted 6-2 Tuesday to establish a state lottery and casinos at four existing dog tracks.
Former Auburn University football coach Pat Dye spoke in favor of the legislation. Dye says gambling already exists at bingo casinos, but the state isn’t getting tax money from it.
Opponents say gambling preys on the poor.
The bill now moves to the Senate floor where the Republican majority is divided over gambling.
The committee tabled an alternative suggestion by Republican Sen. Trip Pittman to just have Alabama join a multistate lottery such as Powerball.
Republican Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh is sponsoring the bill. Marsh calls gambling a viable alternative to taxes.
Republished with permission of The Associated Press.