Bills to regulate fantasy sports games reach AL Legislature

BIRMINGHAM (TAB) — As gambling bills continue to surface in the Legislature, Alabamians must contact their representatives and encourage them to oppose such bills, urged Joe Godfrey, executive director of Alabama Citizens Action Program.

The most recent bills, SB114 and HB56, would clarify the legal status of fantasy sports games and “establish the Fantasy Contests Act to regulate the operation of fantasy or simulated contests in the state.” Rep. Connie Rowe, R-Jasper, sponsored HB56 and Sen. Paul Sanford, R-Huntsville, sponsored SB114.

The companion bills, which were introduced Feb. 16, follow controversy surrounding daily fantasy sports websites like DraftKings and FanDuel concerning the legality of the games, especially in states like Alabama where gambling is illegal. To read the full story on the federal suit filed by two Birmingham men in an attempt to determine whether such sites constitute gambling, visit thealabamabaptist.org.

A full House vote is the next step for HB56 and SB114 is scheduled to go before a Senate committee next week.

Another new pro-gambling bill (SB232) calls for a constitutional amendment that would allow Alabama to participate in multi-state lotteries only, such as Powerball. It was introduced by Sen. Trip Pittman, R-Montrose.

Previously introduced gambling legislation (HB13 and SB19) that would bring the issue to a statewide vote has yet to be voted on by the full House and Senate, but Godfrey says voters must act now if they want to keep the bills from moving any further.

“We do not need to vote on something that is both immoral and economically unsound,” Godfrey said.

For the full story on HB13 and SB19, see “Alabama lottery bill ‘on the fast track.’”

“State-sponsored gambling — whether in the form of a lottery or casino gambling — is a failed public policy everywhere it has been passed into law.”

For more information on the legislation and/or to find resources for the fight against expanding gambling efforts in Alabama, visit www.stoppredatorygambling.com or www.alcap.com.

To contact your legislator, visit capwiz.com.
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About thealabamabaptist

State Baptist newspaper serving Baptists in Alabama, providing information, inspiration and interpretation as well as challenging readers to serve and find opportunities for ministry that further the kingdom of God.
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