Thirty states have legalized sports betting since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018. Alabama is not one of them.
Some Alabama lawmakers are trying to change that, though. In this guide, we’ll review these recent legislative efforts as well as everything else you need to know about online sports betting in Alabama.
Recent News and Details about Sports Betting in Alabama
- Sports betting is not presently allowed in Alabama, though there have been several attempts in the state Legislature to legalize sportsbooks since PASPA was overturned.
- Most recently, two sports betting bills were proposed in the Alabama Senate and one in the Alabama House of Representatives for the 2022 legislative session. None of these bills are expected to become law, though.
- Alabama’s Study Group on Gambling Policy, which was commissioned by Gov. Kay Ivey, found that sports betting would generate somewhere between $6 to $35 million in annual revenue for the state.
- While it’s not quite sports betting, Alabamians do have the option to participate in daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests.
Online Sports Betting in Alabama: A Timeline
- March 3, 2022: Sen. Greg Albritton introduces SB 293 and SB 294 in the Alabama Senate. If passed into law, either of these bills would legalize sports betting in the state.
- Feb. 25, 2022: Sen. Greg Albritton announces that he plans to introduce multiple pieces of gambling legislation. Even if one of these proposed bills passes through the Alabama Senate, it seems unlikely it will actually become law — Albritton stated that he was told by House leadership “we’re not going to deal with it this year.”
- Feb. 15, 2022: Rep. John Rogers tries to legalize sports betting for the third time by introducing HB 405 in the Alabama House of Representatives.
- May 17, 2021: The Alabama House of Representatives ends its legislative session without voting on SB 319, effectively killing the proposed sports betting bill.
- April 13, 2021: The Alabama Senate passes a constitutional amendment that would legalize sports betting. The bill, SB 319, would need to be approved by the Alabama House of Representatives and then by voters to become law.
- Feb. 27, 2020: With HB 336, Rep. John Rogers tries for the second time to legalize sports betting in Alabama — but just like his first attempt, the bill dies in committee.
- April 2, 2019: For the first time since the PASPA decision, a state law that would legalize sports betting is introduced in the Alabama Legislature. HB 315, proposed by Rep. John Rogers, fails to make it out of the Committee on Economic Development and Tourism before the end of the legislative session.
How Do Alabama Residents Feel about Sports Betting?
In February 2020, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed an executive order that created the Study Group for Gambling Policy, which was tasked with gathering information that would help the state make an informed decision about gambling expansion. The group filed its 876-page report, “Gambling in Alabama,” in December 2020.
This report included the results of a survey that was conducted by the Study Group to gauge public support for different types of gambling. With a survey size of 500 probable general election voters and a margin of error of 4.5%, the poll found that most Alabamians support both legalized gambling in a broad sense and online sports betting specifically:
|Study Group for Gambling Policy Public Opinion Survey|
|Online sports betting||52%||41%|
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Apps Legal in Alabama?
DFS platforms are legal in almost every state, including Alabama. These contests are generally considered a game of skill rather than gambling, which is why they were legal in most states even before the PASPA decision. DFS involves building a custom lineup of players from a given set of games that you think will perform better than the lineups submitted by other users — for example, in an NFL DFS contest, you may be able to pull from any team playing that upcoming Sunday to create your lineup. Many of the country’s top online sportsbooks, such as FanDuel and DraftKings, started out as DFS platforms and continue to offer DFS contests.
Alabama Sports Betting FAQs
|Is online sports betting legal?||No|
|Is mobile sports betting legal?||No|
|Is betting legal at retail locations?||No|
|Minimum legal gambling age||N/A|
Editor’s note: Information accurate as of April 18, 2022.
Neighboring States that Legalized Sports Betting
Like Alabama, Georgia also does not currently allow sports betting. Alabama’s neighbor to the east, Florida, has more of a mixed history with legalized sportsbooks — an agreement between Florida and the Seminole Tribe led to the launch of an online sportsbook in November 2021, but a federal appeals court then ruled this operation illegal. It remains to be seen when this situation will be cleared up, but until then, sports betting is not allowed in Florida.
The other two states that neighbor Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, have legalized at least some forms of sports betting. When traveling in these states, you’ll have the following options for placing bets on sporting events:
- Mississippi: More than 20 brick-and-mortar casinos in Mississippi offer sports betting, but online sportsbooks are not available.
- Tennessee: This is one of the few states that offers online sports betting but not on-site sports betting. Popular online sportsbooks such as DraftKings and BetMGM are available in Tennessee.