Home » Alabama sports betting: Latest news and updates, April 2024

Alabama sports betting: Latest news and updates, April 2024

Alabama has never been known as a hub for legal sports betting as the practice is currently prohibited, and the state is having a hard time changing this reputation. The Alabama House passed HB 151 in February 2024, but the Senate Tourism Committee ended up stripping the bill of casino gambling and retail and online sports betting. Should the bill pass, it will only legalize the lottery.

Sports are incredibly popular in Alabama, and if legalized sports betting does eventually make its way to the state, it will likely catch on quickly like sports betting has in other states.

According to GeoComply, roughly 35,000 Alabama residents tried to access online betting sites during the Super Bowl. This stat shows the strong appetite of Alabama sports bettors. If legal sports betting does come to Alabama, you can expect to see many of the major online sports betting apps begin operations in the state.

Check out this guide for a complete overview of Alabama sports betting. We’ll cover the latest news in addition to what you can expect should the practice go live.

More on Alabama Sports Betting

Latest Alabama Sports Betting News

It has been a long road to attempt to make sports betting legal in Alabama. House Bill 151 called for a constitutional amendment to legalize Alabama sports betting and cleared one big hurdle by passing through the Alabama House in February 2024.

On March 5, the bill was pared down to advocate for the legalization of the lottery only. The bill’s key opposition came from:

  • Black Senators who said their caucus wasn’t part of the discussion
  • Responsible gambling and religious groups who claimed that at-risk gamblers needed more protections
  • The Poarch Band of Creek Indians stating that they’re not 100% supportive of the expansion

If the bill passes the Senate, it’ll have to go back to the house for approval because of all the changes. Since the bill is a constitutional amendment, it’ll need a three-fifths majority to get on the ballot.

Here’s a quick timeline of the process to legalize Alabama sports betting:

  • Jan. 10, 2024: Alabama House Republicans hold a meeting to discuss a new Alabama sports betting bill that will be introduced when the new legislative period starts in February 2024.
  • Feb. 6, 2024: The new legislative period begins in the Alabama House.
  • Feb. 8, 2024: Republican representative Chris Blackshear introduces HB 151 to the state house.
  • Feb. 13, 2024: Alabama lawmakers hold a public meeting about legal sports betting to hear from its supporters and opponents.
  • Feb. 15, 2024: HB 151 passes the Alabama House by a three-fifths majority and advances to the state Senate. House Bill 152, which establishes the Alabama Gaming Commission as the state’s sports betting watchdog, also passed through the House.
  • March 5, 2024: Changes to HB 151 mean that the bill will only legalize the lottery should it pass.

Retail Sportsbooks in Alabama

It’s still unclear what retail sportsbooks could look like in Alabama. One possible outcome is tribal casinos getting licensed to host on-site sportsbooks at their physical locations, which is similar to how other states have incorporated retail sportsbooks.

Alabama has three tribal casinos: Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Atmore, Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Wetumpka, and Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Montgomery. All are owned and operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. Retail sportsbooks could be an added attraction for them because it provides a more intimate sports betting experience with cash wagers and employees to assist with customers’ sports betting needs.

If Alabama does legalize sports betting, we expect retail sportsbooks to play a big role in the overall sports wagering experience.

Potential Online Sportsbooks in Alabama

While sports betting in Alabama could arrive in many forms, the most convenient way for Alabama sports bettors to get in on the action will likely be through online sports betting.

Alabama bettors should anticipate most of the major sportsbooks to enter the fold as Alabama sports betting sites. If you plan on wagering with an Alabama sports betting site on your desktop computer or a sports betting app, options could include any of these popular operators:

Alabama Casinos

Alabama isn’t exactly the Las Vegas Strip when it comes to brick-and-mortar casinos, but the state still presents some good options.

Three tribal casinos are in Alabama, all of which are owned and operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. Two of the casinos are in the Montgomery area (Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Montgomery & Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Wetumpka). Alabama gamblers can also visit the Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Atmore closer to Mobile.

These sites are the only land-based casinos in Alabama. While they don’t offer live table games, they have plenty of electronic gaming machines. Additionally, the state of Alabama does not permit real money online casinos.

Alabama Social Casinos

Online casino gaming is currently not available in Alabama. The state has long been one of the least receptive to gambling or sports betting, which explains why it doesn’t allow online casinos. Introduced in March 2021, Senate Bill 310 would have legalized online casino gaming but never received the appropriate support.

Online gambling enthusiasts aren’t totally out of luck, however, as the state allows social casinos. These online casinos still feature fun online games like blackjack, slots or video poker, but don’t require the wagering of any real money. Instead, they award prizes or sweepstakes for winners. For example, the Wind Creek online social casino offers its users prizes of food credits or massages and doesn’t require any credit card information. Other social casinos active in Alabama follow a similar format.

Daily Fantasy Sports in Alabama

Sports betting in Alabama doesn’t exist just yet, so sports fans can get in on the action in a different way with daily fantasy sports. DFS has existed in Alabama since 2019 and is available to anyone 19 or older.

With daily fantasy sports, you can set a lineup under the framework of an imaginary salary cap and compete with other lineups for the top score. If your team doesn’t perform well, you can just start over the next day with a new team!

Alabama residents have a wide range of daily fantasy sports options. FanDuel DFS and DraftKings DFS pioneered daily fantasy sports, but it is hardly just those two titans dominating the space anymore. Other DFS platforms like PrizePicks, Sleeper, Boom Fantasy and OwnersBox are giving players new gaming features and more ways to win in their DFS experience.

Alabama Sports Teams to Bet On

Alabama is known for its passionate sports fans, and Alabama sports bettors will have plenty of fun ways to have a stake in various events.

While the state may not have any notable professional sports teams, college sports teams are beyond popular in Alabama. Not every state has fans who poison the famous tree of their rival, so you know the passion is there. Yes, this actually happened. If Alabama sportsbooks come to be, there should be tons of interest, particularly for college sports betting.

Here’s a closer look at Alabama sports teams you’ll be able to bet on as long as the state legalizes college sports betting:

Alabama Crimson Tide

Nick Saban may not be leading the Alabama Crimson Tide anymore, but the program should still be a college football powerhouse with Kalen DeBoer in charge. With 10 national championships since 1970, the Crimson Tide has a great argument as the best college football program in history. Alabama also has success in other college sports, as the Crimson Tide men’s basketball and softball programs are among the best in their respective sports.

Auburn Tigers

The Auburn Tigers are the second-most followed college football program in Alabama and have plenty of success in their own right. Auburn has regularly competed for SEC championships and, of course, everyone remembers their National Championship run with Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton in 2010. The Tigers also excel at other college sports. Their men’s basketball team routinely makes the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Final Four in 2019, and their baseball program regularly enjoys postseason success.

South Alabama/Troy/UAB

Alabama has three other Division 1 FBS college football teams. South Alabama and Troy both play in the Sun Belt, and Troy is the reigning Sun Belt champion after going 11-3 in 2023. South Alabama went 7-6 after a 10-2 regular-season finish in 2022. The UAB Blazers play in the American Conference and missed the postseason after two consecutive bowl trips.

Atlanta Braves

The most popular baseball team in the Alabama area is the nearby Atlanta Braves. Atlanta is one of the premier franchises in MLB with World Series championships in 1995 and 2021. The team has won the N.L. East for six seasons in a row and is almost always competitive, so it makes sense why Braves fandom extends beyond the state borders of Georgia.

How to Start Betting in Alabama

Since sports betting is not yet legal in Alabama, you’re going to have to wait a bit before you can start betting. When online sportsbooks become available, you should be able to sign up through the book’s desktop site or mobile app.

The drastic changes to HB 151 are discouraging, but the bill originally passing through the state House may be a sign of hope.

Quick Facts About Alabama Sports Betting

Here’s a quick rundown of some relevant facts about Alabama sports betting:

  • Sports betting is currently not legal in Alabama.
  • HB 151 called to legalize sports betting in the state but underwent extreme changes as it would not only legalize the lottery in Alabama.
  • The expected legal betting age is expected to be 21. That is the age requirement in most other states with legal sports betting.
  • There are three retail casinos in Alabama.

Responsible Gaming in Alabama

If sports betting becomes legal in Alabama, bettors should have access to a wide range of responsible gaming resources. Problem gambling is a real issue and something that regulators and operators shouldn’t overlook in the race to get sports betting off the ground.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with problem gambling, please check out the following resources that are currently available for Alabama bettors:

  • Alabama Council on Compulsive Gambling
  • National Council on Problem Gambling

Alabama Sports Betting FAQs

Here are the most common FAQs regarding Alabama sports betting:

When will sports betting be legal in Alabama?

TBD. House Bill 151 called for a constitutional amendment to allow sports betting in Alabama, but the bill’s revisions mean significant setbacks for the state’s launch of sports betting.

Who governs sports betting in Alabama?

Alabama sports betting would be governed by the Alabama Gaming Commission.

What is the legal betting age in Alabama?

The legal betting age in Alabama will likely be 21. That is the legal age in most other states with legal sports betting.

Who can bet on sports in Alabama?

If Alabama sports betting receives approval, anyone physically present in the state who is at least 21 years old would be allowed to legally bet on sports.

Where can I bet on sports in Alabama?

Right now, nowhere because it isn’t legal in Alabama. If legal sports betting comes to Alabama, you’ll be able to place sports bets on sports betting sites and sports betting apps and at retail sportsbooks in casinos.

What sports can I bet on in Alabama?

You will be able to bet on any major sport and even some obscure sports depending on the individual sportsbook. Remember that these online sports betting platforms want you to sign up and place sports bets, so they are going to offer all the popular sports markets.