Lottery Bill Advances

A bill authorizing a lottery in Alabama advanced Tuesday, after winning approval from a divided state senate committee. Lawmakers on the Republican-led Senate Tourism Committee approved the measure on a 6-5 vote. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore), legalizes traditional paper lottery games. Sen. Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro), whose district includes Greenetrack, is pushing for a more expansive bill that protects electronic lottery games, resembling slot machines, at dog tracks. "Do a complete lottery that will grow, and allow us to ... get the maximum amount of dollars," Singleton argued. But senate leader Del Marsh (R-Anniston), who also serves as chairman of the committee, said Republicans are moving in a different direction. "They seem to want a simple bill," Marsh said. The committee did approve an amendment, offered by Singleton, aimed at protecting the tracks' electronic bingo games, which have been ruled illegal by the state Supreme court. The bill now heads to the full Senate.

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