Alabama Online Gambling Laws

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 State Gambling Laws

Laws That Pertain to Alabama Gambling

Many of the gambling statutes still on the books were written in 1901. For that reason, the wording is somewhat anachronistic, discussing elevator wires and dumbwaiters and other things not normally associated with betting. The passage suggests that gambling operators cannot maintain “electric bells, wires, or signals, or any elevators or dumbwaiters, or other implements or appliances, connected with any gaming place or rooms used for gaming.” That’s heady stuff.

Section 13A-12-20:

“A person engages in gambling if he stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that he or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.”

As one might expect, Alabama’s definition of illegal gambling is board. Any agreement that you’ll receive a thing of value contingent on an event not under your control is considered gambling. Under such broad terms, talking to an investment broker might be considered gambling. I suppose others have made that argument before, but most state gambling laws emphasize games of skill and games of chance.

Gambling Organizers

“(a) A person commits the crime of simple gambling if he knowingly advances or profits from unlawful gambling activity as a player.

(b) It is a defense to a prosecution under this section that a person charged with being a player was engaged in a social game in a private place. The burden of injecting the issue is on the defendant, but this does not shift the burden of proof.

(c) Simple gambling is a Class C misdemeanor.”

People who organize gambling receive the full punishment of the law. Beyond the masterminds, even those who support a gambling operation in any way are considered major malefactors. “Simple gambling” is a Class C misdemeanor. Anything beyond simple gambling could incur serious time in jail or serious fines.

Amendment 743: Bingo Games in Greene County

  1. Bingo. That specific kind of game commonly known as bingo in which prizes are awarded on the basis of designated numbers or symbols on a card or electronic marking machine conforming to numbers or symbols selected at random.
  2. Equipment. The receptacle and numbered objects drawn from it, the master board upon which such objects are placed as drawn, the cards or sheets bearing numbers or other designations to be covered and the objects used to cover them or electronic card marking machines, and the board or signs, however operated, used to announce or display the numbers or designations as they are drawn.
  3. Nonprofit Organizations. A bona fide religious, educational, service, senior citizens’, fraternal, or veterans’ organization which operates without profit to its members and which either has been in existence continuously as such an organization for a period of three years or is exempt from taxation by virtue of having been classified as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization by the Internal Revenue Service, United States Government. This term includes a volunteer fire department and a volunteer rescue squad.

Amendment 744: Bingo Games in Macon County.

The operation of bingo games for prizes or money by nonprofit organizations for charitable, educational, or other lawful purposes shall be legal in Macon County. The sheriff shall promulgate rules and regulations for the licensing and operation of bingo games within the county. The sheriff shall insure compliance pursuant to any rule or regulation and the following requirements:

(1) No person under the age of 19 years shall be permitted to play any game or games of bingo, nor shall any person under the age of 19 years be permitted to conduct or assist in the operation of any game of bingo.

(2) No bingo license shall be issued to any nonprofit organization, unless the organization shall have been in existence for at least three years in the county immediately prior to the issuance of the permit or license.

(3) Bingo games may be operated on the premises owned or leased by the nonprofit organization operating the bingo game.

Is Gambling Legal in the State of Alabama?

Alabama Gambling Laws

Type of Gambling – Offered/Licensed? – Notes & Restrictions
  • Online Gambling – No – Online gambling bill never introduced.
  • Land-Based Casinos – Yes – Poarch own 3 tribal casinos.
  • Charitable Gaming – Yes – Pull-tab games, but no bingo gambling.
  • Lottery Betting – No – Voted down in 1998.
  • Minimum Gambling Age – 19 for casinos, pari-mutuel gambling, and pull-tabs.

Is Online Poker Legal in Alabama?

Alabama Online Poker Laws

No. Online poker is not legal in Alabama. Among the US states, Alabama would be one of the Top 5 least likely to legalize online gambling. The state voted down a state lottery in 1998 due to opposition from religious groups and political groups.

Since then, several political leaders have tried to pass a state lottery, but have been defeated by its opponents (and the process). This despite polls that show the voters of Alabama would welcome a state lottery. If lottery betting is off the table, then online poker is a far cry.

Is Sports Betting / Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Alabama?

Sports betting is not legal in Alabama. Most sports bettors who want to enjoy a wager drive to Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, which has a sportsbook. The distance between Biloxi and Mobile, Alabama is 62 miles. The evidence suggests that many Alabama sports bettors enjoy betting on SEC games in Mississippi sportsbooks.

Daily fantasy sports also remain illegal. In 2016, then-Attorney General Luther Strange sent cease-and-desist letters to DraftKings and FanDuel, effectively ending unregulated daily fantasy sports in Alabama. State Sen. Paul Sanford (R-Huntsville) sponsored S 235 in 2018, but it failed to pass. Big time DFS operators like DraftKings and FanDuel would have paid $85,000 registration fee, while smaller daily fantasy sports sites would have paid a $5000 fee.

Sen. Sanford also sponsored bills in 2015 and 2017 that would have legalized daily fantasy sports, but those bills also went down to defeat. Sanford retired at the end of 2018, so it is unlikely another DFS bill comes to the Alabama state legislature anytime soon.

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.

CASINOS

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Atmore Wind Creek Atmore 303 Poarch Road, Atmore, Alabama 36502-6312 (866) 946-3360 2,500 Gaming Machines
Cottonwood Center Stage Alabama 11295 South US Highway 231, Cottonwood, Alabama 36320-4052 (334) 803-8138 600 Gaming Machines
Montgomery Wind Creek Montgomery 1801 Eddie L. Tullis Road, Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6402 (866) 946-3360 2,220 Gaming Machines
Wetumpka Wind Creek Wetumpka 100 River Oaks Drive, Wetumpka, Alabama 36092-3084 (866) 946-3360 2,520 Gaming Machines

DOG TRACK RACINO

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Eutaw Greenetrack 524 County Road 208, Eutaw, Alabama 35462-3717 (205) 372-9318 300 Gaming Machines, Race Book

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.

DOG TRACK

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Birmingham Birmingham Greyhound Racing 1000 John Rogers Drive, Birmingham, Alabama 35210-4399 (205) 838-7500 Race Book

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.

DOG TRACK

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Shorter VictoryLand 8680 County Road 40, Shorter, Alabama 36075-4403 (334) 727-0540 Race Book
Theodore Mobile Greyhound Park 7101 Old Pascagoula Road, Theodore, Alabama 36582-4011 (251) 653-5000 Race Book

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.

BINGO HALLS

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Gadsden Gadsden Bingo Center 1206 Alabama Avenue, Gadsden, Alabama 35901-2955 (256) 547-9386 300 Bingo Seats
Montgomery Winners Bingo 3660 Atlanta Highway, Montgomery, Alabama 36109-3622 (334) 277-3226 595 Bingo Seats

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.