Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (pictured) has reportedly announced that she will be launching a fact-gathering initiative in order to ascertain whether the southern state should launch a lottery and allow its trio of tribal casinos to expand.
According to a Wednesday report from The Birmingham News newspaper, the Republican lawmaker used her annual state-of-the-state address to reveal that she intends to name the members of the fact-gathering body over the course of the next few days before giving the panel until the end of the year to table its findings.
The 75-year-old reportedly used the Tuesday event to explain that she needs more information before deciding whether to support a scheme that could see Alabama initiate a lottery and permit the Poarch Band of Creek Indians to transform its trio of casinos into venues able to offer slots alongside Class III table games such as craps and blackjack.
The Birmingham News reported that Alabama is one of only five American states alongside Alaska, Utah, Hawaii and Nevada that does not have a government-run lottery. But, legislation due to be floated by Steve Clouse from the Alabama House of Representatives could purportedly soon see this situation altered via a constitutional amendment that would ask voters for permission to initiate a service selling instant tickets as well as access to the multi-state Mega Millions and PowerBall games.
The newspaper reported that Alabama’s voters were last asked whether they would like to legalize a lottery in 1999 although this initiative eventually went down by a margin of 54% to 46%. It detailed that the state’s Legislative Services Agency recently detailed that launching such a scheme would result in net annual proceeds of around $167 million while Clouse is said to be interested in speaking with Ivey before officially introducing his proposed legislation.
Clouse reportedly told The Birmingham News…
“I really don’t think the lottery needs to be a part of that study group. We’ve been talking about this for 21 years. The fiscal office did an extensive study on that like they did on all the issues. So I don’t know where this group is going to come up with any different figures than what the fiscal office did. The election in November where we will vote for the President is the most highly participated election in our election cycle. This would be the perfect place for it to be for the most amount of people to vote on it without any additional expense to the taxpayers.”
Regarding casinos and Ivey reportedly told the newspaper that she has no intention of starting compact negotiations with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, which is responsible for Alabama’s Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Wetumpka, Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Atmore and Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Montgomery properties, until after the results of the fact-finding initiative are published. The state’s only federally-recognized tribe is also purportedly keen on being given permission to inaugurate a pair of new Class III casino resorts that it believes would bring in around $1 billion in annual aggregated tax revenues.
The Birmingham News reported that Ivey used her speech to proclaim that she is hoping that the coming inquiry will ‘be thorough and get the facts’ and possibly give her administration insights into how to negotiate an expanded compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, which moreover owns establishments in Florida, Aruba, Nevada and Curacao in addition to Pennsylvania’s giant Wind Creek Bethlehem development.
Ivey reportedly pronounced…
“That’s all I want is the facts, not recommendations. I just want the facts about how much money the state can expect to gain if we just do a lottery or if we do expanded gaming or if we do a compact and what the heck does a compact look like? What are the components of a compact? What are the responsibilities of both parties? We don’t know.”