The people's voice of reason

Tears & Laughter - An Alabama Lottery Proposal Loses Value Every Year

The Alabama Legislature has once again introduced a lottery proposal that would give voters the opportunity to choose whether or not Alabama can have a lottery. It is one of the only states in the union not to have a lottery.

They do this every year.

I write about it every year.

They meet, and talk, and wring their hands, and second-guess themselves. They open it up for public discussion. Then they get anxious and table whatever plan they were considering and agree to start over from scratch during the next legislative session.

Part of them feels obligated to include casinos, since there are already casinos operating around the clock every single day of the year in Alabama. Some barely want to allow it all. They are much more comfortable with control in their hands than a spread of cards.

I have long suspected that most of the members of the Alabama Legislature do not enjoy gambling … at least not with money. And money, which Alabama needs, is exactly what a lottery would generate. Which has been a problem in the past. They can never decide what to do with the proceeds … should they ever finally decide to give the people of Alabama the opportunity to vote on the matter by putting it on the ballot again for the first time in over 22 years.

It is all seems rather slow to those who routinely visit area casinos and play neighboring state lotteries.

The legislature should maybe consider that its wager is losing value every year they delay implementing a lottery. Alabama gamblers are already gambling and do not need permission from the Alabama Legislature. We have horses.

This morning, as I write, at not quite yet 6 a.m., I am waiting for the third day of the Cheltenham Festival in the UK to begin. It is the highlight of Jump season, or “hurdles.” It is a culmination of some of the world’s most talented jockeys, paired with finest of horses who have been trained by the elites. It draws huge crowds both physically and virtually, and has pools that grow to staggering amounts.

Granted, you have to follow the horses to know the horses, riders, trainers, and tracks, but you can play horses around the clock and around the world from your phone. It is completely legal – even in Alabama – because it is a game of competition as opposed to a game of chance.

You can quickly and easily join in by creating an account with one of the interactive platforms. There may be several, but the New York Race Association ( offers wagering in Alabama, as does You can wager and watch all races online, or on the Television Games channel. American tracks start around 11 a.m. daily, but until that time of day the African, French, and United Kingdom tracks will keep you entertained, and when American tracks call it a night just shy of midnight the Australian tracks are in full swing. Pick your preference – hurdles, harness, or flat. It’s not free, but then again you won’t be buying gas to get there either.

Or you can continue to wait on the Alabama Legislature to decide if they have the gumption to give us the opportunity to vote on their half-ass, watered-down version of a lottery bill that should have long since been allowed.


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