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Online Gambling in Alabama: an Expert Guide

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Gambling in Alabama

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Our Guide to Online Gambling in Alabama

Alabama gambling laws are some of the strictest among US states which allow gambling. Land-based casino gambling is allowed only at tribal casinos, which would not exist if the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act did not assure Indian casinos. Attempts to turn dog tracks into racinos (with slots parlors) were fought successfully by the Alabama Department of Justice. Since then, all but one of the dog tracks have stopped having races, while the other tracks act as OTBs.

Lottery betting, online poker, sports betting, daily fantasy sports, and a variety of other types of gambling are banned in Alabama. Charitable gambling was approved in 2007, so players will find bingo gaming and pull-tab games. Otherwise, visitors won’t find many legal forms of gambling.

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Alabama Online Gambling Law FAQ

Alabama Gambling Laws

Everything you need to know about Alabama’s gambling laws.

DOES ALABAMA HAVE LAND-BASED CASINOS?

Yes, Alabama has 3 land-based tribal casinos: The Wind Creek casinos in Montgomery, Wetumpka, and Atmore. All three are owned by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, who also own casinos in Mississippi and Pennsylvania (soon: Sands Bethlehem).

At one time, several commercial race tracks had slots parlors: Birmingham Racecourse, Mobile Greyhound Park, and VictoryLand in Shorter. Successive Alabama attorney generals fought to close the slots parlors, claiming the Native American casinos were the only venues with the legal right to have casino gaming. This led to court battles from 2010 to 2012, then later raids against the slots casinos in 2013.

Eventually, VictoryLand’s Milton McGregor sued AG Luther Strange, a court battle in which then-Gov. William Bentley sided with McGregor. Luther Strange defied a court order by Judge William Shashy to return the confiscated slots, but Strange ignored the judge. The whole matter was unresolved when Gov. Bentley chose Luther Strange to be Jeff Sessions’ replacement as the US Senator from Alabama. Milton McGregor’s death at age 78 in 2018 appears to have ended the legal actions, and VictoryLand has since closed.

DOES ALABAMA HAVE ANY LEGAL BETTING TRACKS / SHOPS?

Alabama’s racetracks at one time included Birmingham Racecourse, Mobile Greyhound Park, and VictoryLand. All three tracks offered dog racing and pari-mutuel wagers. These days, Birmingham Racecourse is the only active race track in Alabama. The track has simulcasting and pari-mutuel wagers.

DOES ALABAMA ALLOW OFF-TRACK BETTING?

Yes, but only at the closed dog tracks.

Birmingham Racecourse, Mobile Greyhound Park, VictoryLand, and Greenetrack in Eutaw have off-track betting facilities. These simulcast races from across the nation. Birmingham is the only track with live races anymore, so the other three venues act only as OTBs these days.

DOES ALABAMA ALLOW CHARITABLE GAMBLING?

Yes, in select counties.

In 2003, State Rep. Craig Ford introduced House Bill 660 that would have chance the Alabama Constitution of 1901 and legalized charitable gambling. It took four years, but in 2007, the Alabama legislature passed HB 660. Since then, individual counties can legalize bingo gaming in their jurisdictions.

Thus, individual counties can have charitable gaming. Amendment 743 approved bingo games in Greene County and Amendment 744 approved bingo games in Macon County. To operate a bingo hall, a charitable organization needs to have been active in a county for 3 years. Players must be 19 years of age to buy a bingo card.

IS SOCIAL GAMING ALLOWED IN ALABAMA?

While social casinos like Double Down Casino, Zynga Poker, Zynga Slots, Big Fish, and Slotomania are not strictly banned in Alabama, players would be wise to practice caution when playing at social casinos.

Even local poker games where they don’t take a rake have been raided by law enforcement, so any form of casino gaming is fair game for law enforcement. While it is unlikely you’ll get busted for playing Double Down on Facebook or your mobile app, Alabama officials are serious about enforcing their betting ban.

That goes double for MyVegas, the MGM Resorts free casino which gives players rewards points for good play. Since MyVegas offers rewards that could be used in a real money casino like the nearby Beau Rivage Casino in Mississippi, it is banned.

Private card games have been raided in Alabama, so social gambling among friends isn’t even safe. While it is highly unlikely a poker game at your home with no rake would be raided, it is inadvisable, because raids have happened.

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