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  • Land Based Gambling

    Live Dealer Games
    Casino
    Regulated Since: 1971
    Gambling Age: 18
    Live Dealer Games
    Sports Betting
    Live Dealer Games
    Poker
    Live Dealer Games
    Bingo
    Regulated Since: 1993
    Gambling Age: 19
    Live Dealer Games
    Lottery
    Live Dealer Games
    Horse Racing
    Regulated Since: 1984
    Gambling Age: 19
    Live Dealer Games
    Dog Racing
    Regulated Since: 1973
    Gambling Age: 19

    Online Gambling

    Live Dealer Games
    Online Casino
    Live Dealer Games
    Online Sports Betting
    Regulated Since: 2019
    Gambling Age: 19
    Live Dealer Games
    Online Poker
    Live Dealer Games
    Online Bingo
    Regulated Since: 2003
    Gambling Age: 19
    Live Dealer Games
    eSports Betting
    Regulated Since: 2019
    Gambling Age: 19
    Live Dealer Games
    DFS

    Overview

    Gambling within Alabama is very limited with only a few options available. It is considered to be one of the most conservative states within the US. When taking a look at their gambling laws it is clear that Alabama has a strict anti-gambling policy.

    At this current time, the only legal forms of gambling in the state includes pari-mutuel betting, horse and greyhound racing, charitable bingo, Daily Fantasy Sports and Tribal Gaming.

    There are three legal casinos located on Native American land where you can enjoy slots, Class II bingo games (electronic) and Class III games. Thanks to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act implemented by the Supreme Court in 1988 it is completely legal to enjoy gambling within the natively operated casinos.

    Online Gambling in Alabama Status

    As it stands online gambling activities within the state of Alabama is forbidden with no motion to legalise it in the near future. While many residents wish to partake in online gambling and some operators do accept them this action is highly inadvisable.
    Playing online casino games or taking part in any illegal gambling activates is considered a legal offence. The state shows no mercy and anyone who gets caught engaging in such activities will be charged and fined.

    The recent governing bodies have attempted bringing changes and modernizing the archaic legislation of Alabama. Just last year (2019) Alabama was among the 37 states trying to pass a sports betting bill.

    The laws and regulations within Alabama are very restrictive and while some are trying to bring change, there is no guarantee of any more legal gambling options being added to the table any time soon.

    A key take away is that there are many pushing for changes with new bills drafted to legalise sports betting, more casino options and even introduce a state lottery. Unfortunately, these are going nowhere slowly as many of the bills that do get approved by the Senate hit a dead end in the House.

    With years of restrictions ingrained within their system, it’s proven to be more difficult to let go and invite change. As such it will still be a long time before Alabama legalises online gambling within its borders.


    Regulation

    Since the start, Alabama has been one of the states with the most restrictive gambling laws in the country. At first, it was completely illegal to take part in almost any form of gambling. As already stated Alabama is considered to be a historically conservative state when it comes to gambling.

    The Alabama Racing Commission

    It was in 1971 when the state legislature eased up and created the Alabama Racing Commission. This allowed local jurisdictions with 300,000 or more people to vote on whether or not live racing should be legal. At some point four tracks were running in Alabama, today there are only two operational.

    In 1993 the state passed the charitable gaming law enabling legal bingo activity to take place. Any Bingo activity within the Alabama counties requires a local referendum luckily more than half of the counties within the state have approved charitable bingo.

    In 1988 the Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act enabled native tribes to establish casinos on their territories. However, these casinos are restricted and can only provide a range of bingo games Class II and Class III games as well as slot machines. No law bans the use of video bingo machines by the Tribal Alabama casinos. It is yet another grey area in the regulatory act enabling these land-based establishments to offer them by choice.

    Table games are strictly off-limits, this includes Poker which is considered a game of change. Anyone who wishes to partake in table game gambling needs to travel to another state.

    According to Alabama’s constitutions, all forms of bets are illegal. Based on the literal language of the constitution anyone who places a wager is committing a crime. The constitution states illegal gambling is “. . . [staking] or risk[ing] something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that he or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.”

    Over the years Alabama has made it clear that they have no interest in changing their constitution, as it is considered one of the longest in the world. Instead, they choose to defer to country and municipal laws. And as long as bets are done on electronic bingo and race betting the state doesn’t intervene.

    Daily fantasy sports betting was also added to the limited range of legal betting activities allowed in the state in 2019.

    The laws and regulations are outdated and there is a desperate need for an update. Current authorities have tried to update the laws and regulations to legalize sports betting for one. However, the bill passed the Senate but paused in the house. There is hope that sports betting will soon be added to the range of legal gaming activities as a new sport betting bill was presented to the state early in 2020.

    With the many US states choosing to expand their gambling industries there is hope that Alabama will soon join the ranks.

    Licensing

    As it stands there is a select number of gambling options available within the state of Alabama. Alabama has four racing commissions that regulate pari-mutuel betting in their local municipality. These commissions are located in Birmingham, Greene Country, Macon County and Mobile County.

    The regulation of tribal casinos within the state is done by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) as established in 1988. One of IGRA’s requirements is that Class III Vegas-style games are not prohibited by the state. Unfortunately, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians is unable to offer Class III Vegas-style slot machines as they are not available in Alabama. This includes table games. If they do become available the federal IGRA will allow Poarch Band to negotiate a tribal-state compact.

    According to the state constitution, all forms of gambling is illegal but exceptions have been made over the years. In 1971 pari-mutuel racing was legalized and in 1980 charitable bingo. 

    As it stands the Poarch Band of Creek Indians are the only federally recognized tribe in Alabama. Making them the only tribe legally allowed to operate casinos within the state. They currently operate three successful casinos within the state.

    Horse Race and Off-Track Betting is allowed if a city has 300,000 inhabitants that permit it. While Greyhound racing is illegal in many other states there are two tracks in Alabama that run these races.

    Pari-mutuel betting is legal but must run through the gambling commission for the municipal area and be licensed by the state. Any gambling facilities that operate outside the state laws are considered illegal.

    Bingo operations are only allowed if it is run by non-profit organizations for charitable and educational purposes. Again licensing is provided by the country commission who will provide the license and implement rules and regulations. To get a bingo permit or license a non-profit organization needs to have existed at least 12 months before the issuance of the permit or license. Any profit from Bingo goes directly to charities and there is a limit set on winnings.

    According to the laws and regulations the state does not receive any benefit from gambling. Taxes from racing goes straight into the commission regulating it and the native tribes to no have a gambling pact with the state. To participate in any form of legal gambling within Alabama you need to be 19 years or older. 

    iGaming

    The laws and regulations in Alabama are archaic and outdated leaving room for misinterpretation, especially with the county conflicts. When it comes to online gambling there is no definitive law that bans it. However, it has clearly been stated that it is considered a no-go and it should be avoided. And when taking a look at the constitution it clearly states that any form of betting is considered illegal despite the legal forms of betting available in several counties today.

    In terms of online casino gambling, there has been no movement to change the legal status or implement change to bring an online gambling market into the state. The law does not clearly say anything about online casinos which makes many think of it as a grey area. However, in recent years authorities have made it very clear that online casinos are considered illegal and taking part in offshore gambling activities is not a good idea.

    Some foreign operators accept players residing in Alabama but it is inadvisable to take part in such activities. Anyone caught participating in illegal gambling activities will be prosecuted and fined.

    To date there have been no bills brought forth in favour of legalising online casino gambling and no legal changes should be expected in the near future. Online gambling is illegal in Alabama and could remain illegal for a long time to come.

    The good news is that sports betting could soon become legal with a new sports bill being brought forth for review and approval in 2020. There have been talks of introducing a state lottery but nothing has come of it.

    Alabama is slow with progress choosing to remain faithful to archaic rules and regulations. That being said, they have shown signs of opening up to the idea of new things with the legalization of Daily Fantasy Sports. Online gambling might not be available right now or pencilled in for the near future but it shouldn’t be ruled out completely.

    With some gambling laws are changing within the state, there is still hope that online gambling will become part of the legal options available in the near future. 

    FAQ

    When did Bingo become legal in Alabama?

    It became legal in 1993 but it requires a local referendum.

    Is mobile and Internet Betting legal in Alabama?

    Yes, but it is restricted to racing (pari-mutuel).

    Is video bingo legal in Alabama?

    Video bingo can be played in the tribal casinos but it is undetermined whether it is legal or not.

    What is the minimum gambling age in Alabama?

    You have to be 19 years or older to take part in any form of betting.

    Is off-track betting legal in Alabama?

    Yes, it is legal to take part in Simulcast betting on dogs and horses.

    Is horseracing legal in Alabama?

    Yes, while it is legal there is currently no tracks running. And no sign of horseracing returning to the state.

    What companies accept online horse betting in Alabama?

    You can place online wagers on horse races via TVG, TwinSpires and BetAmerica.

    Is Greyhound racing legal in Alabama?

    Yes, it is legal and live greyhound races are still held at Montgomery Greyhound Park and Birmingham Race Track.

    Why can tribal casinos operate video bingo?

    The tribal casinos choose to operate video bingo as there is no law that specifically rules it out or deems it illegal. While there has been an attempt to shut it down federal courts has rules in favour of the tribes.

    Is Daily Fantasy Sports betting legal in Alabama?

    Yes, Daily Fantasy Sports was legalized in the state again in 2019. 

    Casinos and Gambling Facilities in Alabama

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