BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — District 6 House Representative Andy Whitt (R) is part of the committee presenting a new comprehensive gambling bill to the 2024 legislative session.
Rep. Whitt said the bill intends to clean up the state of gambling as he has witnessed the concern and issues some facilities may bring throughout the state.
“I was quite shocked at the things that I saw across the state,” said Rep. Whitt.
Being that the bill is still in the beginning stages, the overall plan for it is ever evolving.
“What comes out of that bill is yet to be known, but I can assure you that we’re going to increase the penalties, we’re going to increase the fines,” said Rep. Whitt. “We’re going to get the regulatory and enforcement piece in the right hands and we’re going to start doing our job in the state.”
Evolving the bill is one aspect CBS 42 Political Analyst Steve Flowers suggests should happen.
“I don’t think they’re going to go just for regulation,” said Flowers. “I think they will try to do something to try to ascertain where they can move it.”
According to Flowers, people throughout the state are hoping they’ll move it toward creating a lottery in Alabama.
“My journeys around the state and conversations I have on commentary, my newspaper column, and different city clubs I speak to, conservative city clubs, they consistently ask me the first question ‘why can’t we have a lottery in Alabama?'” said Flowers.
Rep. Whitt said the bill is garnering support from House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter (R).
With this support, Rep. Whitt says he’s walking into next year’s session with confidence.
“I’ve put in the time. I’ve put in the research I’ve done the research, and I can show you pictures, I can show you where I’ve found facilities.” said Rep. Whitt.