Legalize gambling in Alabama

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Currently gambling is illegal in the state of Alabama. Instead of making profits off of gambling in state, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida are making profits off of Alabama citizens going across border to play. While gambling may seem like an issue that is being avoided by criminalizing it in state, and by not giving citizens a way to play here, that is a misconstrued idea.

In several states, gambling supports a variety of opportunities for state and private sectors. In the state of Kentucky, there is a program called the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship. It is entirely lottery funded and offers students who graduate in Kentucky financial support each semester based off of high school GPA. This supports work ethic in high school to earn the most possible, and encourages students to attain an education in state, to receive the money they worked so hard for. There are a lot of debates as to whether the lottery is used for its purposes and whether they truly aid the welfare of state, but when budgets are cut for one area and lottery replaces rather than supplements that specific area, those budgeted funds are still being put to use elsewhere. This means more money for the state regardless. 

Another topic is taxes and loss of profit. If a resident of Alabama won the lottery, they are going to be taxed in both the state they won and by the state of Alabama. After speaking to multiple people during my investigation for this petition, many said they’d rather just stay in the state they won, because they’d only be taxed once, and there was no reason to go somewhere else anyway. That is additional money the state of Alabama is losing, which begs the question, why is it still not legal in Alabama? But the lottery isn’t the only lost profit in the state. We have four casinos in the state of Alabama, and all of them are dedicated to bingo. Meanwhile, states like Florida and Mississippi, with actual casinos containing actual table games and slots, are attracting more customers than casinos in the state. That is profit and taxes that are being lost to other states. There are large amounts of money in this state that could be spent here.

Imagine an Alabama where people are rewarded for working harder in school. An Alabama where people can drive 5 minutes to purchase a lottery ticket, which supports education, and any other need the state has. An Alabama where the people’s voices are heard, and the state leadership proves that they are listening. Stop losing money to other states and let’s better our own!

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