MONTGOMERY (TAB) — After the public hearing held today on legislation that would authorize a state-run lottery and casinos at the four dog tracks, an expected vote by the Senate committee holding the bill was postponed.
Bill sponsor Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston, said he plans to make changes to the bill. Rumors are flowing that support is rising to add a fifth casino location in Houston County in the facility where Ronnie Gilley took a stab at setting up a casino in 2009–2010.
But no matter the details of the bill the numbers supporters are using aren’t adding up when all things are equal. Instead of an estimated nearly $332 million net revenue from a statewide lottery, the state would likely garner $272 million at most.
Even though this year’s state general fund budget shortfall of nearly $300 million is the driving force behind interest in expanding gambling in the state, any potential lottery revenue would not help because the earliest a statewide election would be held on the matter would be September. And none of the estimates come close to covering the estimated $702 million needed going forward.
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