Alabama once took part in the deep south’s infamous riverboat gambling past time and early lottery systems. But when the state’s constitution was enacted in 1901, it made clear, solidly, that all forms of gambling involving “chance” are forever illegal. A constitution that the Supreme Court keeps referring to, making the legalization progress in Alabama almost impossible. For now, those looking to play have the choice between slots and bingo or hopping state lines.
Alabama Legal Gambling History
1901 was the year that Alabama had written its state constitution, defining gambling and explicitly outlining its illegality. This sharp stance against gambling has made progress difficult. The 1901 constitution is always brought forward as a key piece used to argue against it. The Alabama constitution states that all gambling that involves chance is against the law.
In 1971 Alabama made track betting legal. The reason for this was because it was argued that track racing is a game of skill. Track betting in Alabama includes off-track betting and simulcast betting.
Charitable gaming such as bingo and raffles were legalized in 1980.
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act passed at the federal level in 1988. That same year, 3 tribal casinos opened in the state. Unfortunately, Alabama only granted them the ability to serve type II gaming. This severely restricts what the casinos can offer – slots and bingo styled games mostly.
It’s been tough for any further attempts to be made in Alabama toward legal gambling, such as getting a state lottery through. Every time the 1901 constitution is brought up and it ultimately wins out. Although, in 2019, state governor Kay Ivey signed the law into effect to legalize daily fantasy sports in Alabama.
Alabama Gambling Legal Status
Type II casino gambling is legal at Alabama’s 4 tribal casinos, where gaming is restricted to slots and bingo.
Pari-mutuel track betting is legal and so are daily fantasy sports. Charitable gaming is legal but this only extends to bingo. Daily fantasy sports are legal and social gambling is not allowed.
All online forms of online gambling, sports betting, state lottery, poker, and table games are all illegal in Alabama.
The legal age to wager in Alabama is 21 years and older for casinos and 18 for track betting.
Alabama Land-Based Casinos
There are 4 tribal operated casinos in Alabama that operate, possibly to the dismay of the state, as they’ve made previous attempts to close them. These casinos are allowed to offer Class II type gaming, which unfortunately excludes table games but does include slots and bingo.
All of the Alabama tribal casinos are owned by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and include:
- Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Atmore
- Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Wetumpka
- Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Montgomery
- Victoryland Shorter Milton
For players looking for a more extensive line of casino game offerings, traveling next door to Mississippi is your best bet.
Alabama Legal Daily Fantasy Sports and Sports Betting
Sports betting remains illegal in Alabama and will most likely be that way for some time. There doesn’t seem to be too much support for it in the state right now. To understand the atmosphere in Alabama it’s important to remember that they don’t even have a state lottery and have been against allowing one for some time.
Any expansions to Alabama legal gambling, whether it be online gambling or sports betting is highly unlikely.
Although, as of 2019, Alabama’s governor Kay Ivey signed a law into effect that made daily fantasy sports legal in the state.
Alabama Legal Gambling FAQ’s
What forms of gambling are legal in the state of Alabama?
The following is legal to gamble on in Alabama:
- Class II gaming at tribal casinos including slots and bingo.
- Daily fantasy sports.
- Track betting including pari-mutuels.
- Charitable gaming but only bingo.
- You may want to look at other states.