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Alabama lottery bill filed in House with 70 co-sponsors

Mar 12, 2020, 10:48 am

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Alabama Rep. Steve Clouse, R-Ozark, filed an education lottery bill Tuesday with 70 co-sponsors that if passed would go to the ballot as a constitutional amendment for people to vote on.

It would approve a paper-based lottery generating about $167 million each year according to Clouse. 50 percent of the proceeds would go toward the First Class Pre-K program and the other half for scholarships. Video lottery terminals would not be allowed.

"It's just time that we put this on the ballot again," Clouse said.

The bill also said it would not prohibit local laws prior to Jan. 1, 2005 that allowed charity bingo and pari-mutuel wagering on horse or dog racing.

Gov. Kay Ivey created a Study Group on Gambling Policy earlier this year to gather the facts before lawmakers passed a lottery. The group dissolves in December of 2020.

However, Clouse said he wants the lottery on the ballot for November.

"There's going to be a high turnout in November and that's when you want to do something like this," said Clouse. "When you have the most voters going to the polls and we can get a clear indication if they do want to go with it or do not want to go with it."

Clouse said he wants the governor's support. If the people approved a lottery in November, the governor would call a special session to set up a lottery corporation to run the operations.

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