Could the Trump family kill sports betting in Alabama? Maybe.
A House vote could happen Thursday on gambling legislation that would allow for casinos, a lottery, and online/mobile sportsbooks in the state. However, the son of the former president thinks it’s bad policy.
On Wednesday, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted:
“Bad bill. If you’re gonna legalize gambling, actually legalize it, but giving a monopoly to a small group of casino bosses is just a special interest giveaway. This bill would stop the world’s best gaming operators from opening world-class Resorts & Casinos in Alabama!”
Bad bill. If you’re gonna legalize gambling, actually legalize it, but giving a monopoly to a small group of casino bosses is just a special interest giveaway. This bill would stop the world’s best gaming operators from opening world-class Resorts & Casinos in Alabama! https://t.co/RrT6Nm7kpo
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) May 5, 2021
The casino proposal reportedly could hand the market to existing gaming/business interests in the state, though top sports betting brands could enter the market via partnerships. It’s unclear which “world’s best gaming operators” Trump Jr. was referring to. Under the gambling package, all but one of the nine casino locations would basically be set in stone. Existing dog tracks and tribal facilities would be the sites.
According to the Associated Press, while the locations are named, the actual casino license would go to the highest bidder, so the top casino developers in the world could actually find market entry.
“Some lawmakers asked what would happen if the site owner does not win the license,” the Associated Press reported, with one policymaker stating that if another entity won the license, it would be “very difficult to walk away from a sale, a partnership or a lease agreement.”
According to AL.com, the opposition from Trump Jr. isn’t expected to alter the outcome of Thursday’s possible vote on the gambling expansion package, which is backed by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey. Voters would have the say on the matter in a referendum in November 2022. A study group appointed by the governor has stated the legalization could generate as much as $700 million a year in revenue for the state.
“This has been a long, complex process, and I have stayed highly engaged because this is too important of an issue not to get it right,” Ivey said in a statement this week on the package. “I am pleased that after many discussions with the Legislature, I believe we have found a path forward to once and for all address gambling in Alabama.”
Assuming the historic gambling package clears the House on Thursday, it’s possible Trump Jr. could tip the scale on the referendum come next year and ultimately kill the package.
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