Casino News: Alabama Expanded Gambling Referendum, Maryland Sports Betting Bill Introduced

Maryland Sports Betting Bill

This week’s casino news focuses in on the headlines from different states. Let’s start off with the regulation that’s in the works in Alabama.

Alabama Governor Wants Voter Approval On Expanded Gambling

While many states are pushing to expand gambling, Alabama appears to be heading in the opposite direction – at least in 2021. Comments made by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey that point towards the expansion launching in 2023, which makes it years away.

Gov. Ivey stated that she would refuse to enter any type of compact with the Poarch Bank of Creek Indians until it is approved at the ballot. The state has researched what type of impact expanded gambling it would have on the area and they realized it could bring around $700 million in annual tax revenue along with over 19,000 jobs for the people of Alabama. The issue is why delay?

Sen. Del Marsh has told reporters that he plans on filing the legislation for expanded gambling as soon as possible. Unfortunately, that bill wouldn’t make its way through the legislature until the end of 2022 and even then, the voters would still have to approve it.

Alabama is currently one of the few states that doesn’t have any type of gambling and they don’t even hold a lottery.

Maryland Introduces First Sports Betting Bill

While Alabama is regressing, Maryland is progressing.

The state of Maryland is making a pushing for legal sports betting as there are a number of bills coming through the pipes. The first bill, which was just passed, dealt with the licensing process for non-profit sportsbooks. Apparently, there will only be a few of these operators in the state with the Maryland fairgrounds acting as an example. However, the state legislature (Maryland Senate Pres. Thomas V. Mike Miller pictured above) still has quite a few things left to sort out, with licensing and tax rates yet to be under control.

There is also a possibility that DraftKings can enter the market in Maryland after the partnership between William Hill and the Rocky Gap Casino is likely to be disbanded. William Hill was recently purchased by Caesars Entertainment causing the split between the two. 

New Mexico’s Isleta Casino Reopens Once Again

After a three-month shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears that the Isleta Casino in New Mexico can finally resume operations. The Pueblo of Isleta Tribal Council held a vote on whether or not they should reopen the Isleta Casino and that vote ended up being unanimous in favor of the reopening. They will be employing all sorts of protocols to make sure to be as safe as possible with each of the workers at the casino being tested for the virus regularly.

The casino has also stated that “proper masks” will be required if you wish to enter the establishment while officially banned bandanas and gaiters. Also, there will not be allowing anybody under the age of 21 on the property, which includes the hotel and restaurant.

The Isleta Casino happens to be the first in its area to reopen, with The Palace West Casino remaining closed. The Sandia Resort has also been shut down for quite a while as well as the Pueblo of San Felipe’s Black Mesa Travel Center.