About the Alabama Lottery
Alabama does not currently have a lottery. However, state legislators are trying to move forward a proposal that would establish lottery and casino gambling across the state.
Recently, state senators proposed legislation to allow a lottery. The proposal included establishing a gaming commission to oversee the lottery, casinos, sports betting, and bingo. If passed, the new Alabama Education Lottery would have offered scratch-off games, daily draws like Pick-3 and Pick-4, and popular multi-state lotteries like Powerball and Mega Millions. Lottery tickets would have been available to state residents aged 21 and over. Players would have been able to buy tickets from a statewide network of lottery retailers, which would receive a 6% commission on ticket sales.
The Legislative Services Agency estimated that the gambling expansion could raise $500 million to $700 million a year in tax revenue. The bill proposed to spend this income on education, including pre-kindergarten programs and college scholarships.
By the end of the legislative session in May, state officials had not passed the measure. That means the proposal won’t go through unless there is a special session called to discuss it. For now, Alabama remains without a lottery.
Not currently. Alabama is one of just five states in the U.S. that doesn’t have a state lottery. The other lottery-less states are Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah.
The Legislative Services Agency estimates the Education Trust Fund and the scholarship program would each receive about $118 million a year from the lottery.
Ticket sales would first cover the cost of prizes and lottery operating expenses. At least 0.5% of sales proceeds would go to programs to help compulsive gamblers. A portion of unclaimed prize money would go to a grant program for agriculture. Lottery funds would also be used to lower the state sales tax on groceries from 4% to 2%.
The remaining proceeds would go into an education fund benefitting K-12 schools as well as colleges, and a scholarship program for community college students. It would also include a loan forgiveness plan for students who work in high-demand fields.
The proposed bill includes Pick-3, Pick-4, Powerball, Mega Millions, and scratch-off games.
The legislation sets up a seven-member gaming commission. The members would be appointed by state leaders. The commission would issue licenses to operate casinos and would regulate the state lottery. Additionally, the commission would be required to file annual reports detailing gambling revenue.
The gambling package did not pass in the most recent legislative session, but it could potentially be revived and come to a vote in a special session or early next year. If it’s passed by the legislature, it will become a ballot measure for voters to consider in November 2022.