A bill that would dramatically expand gambling in Alabama went down to defeat in the state Senate on Tuesday. The measure failed 19-13, two votes short of the 21 required for a constitutional amendment. State Sen. Del Marsh (R-Anniston), the bill's sponsor, previously claimed that he had the votes needed for passage. But in the end, the 13 votes opposing the bill, all coming from Marsh's fellow Republicans, were more than enough to sink the package. Marsh said that some lawmakers had turned against the bill, adding that he had counted support from senators who "weren't honest brokers." He did not name names. The measure would have authorized a lottery and seven casinos, along with sports betting. Gov. Kay Ivey, in a prepared statement, said that she was prepared to revisit the issue: "Today’s vote by the Alabama Senate confirms more work must be done, because this issue is too important to not get it right," Ivey said. "Should the Legislature wish to continue discussions on this topic, I stand ready and willing to engage." Earlier in the day, Ivey issued a statement urging senators to pass the bill, calling it a "vital next step" on the way to a statewide vote. Some opponents called for a vote on a lottery-only bill, saying the state is not ready for the expansive package proposed by Marsh. Sen. Jim McClendon (R-Springville) indicated that he was pursuing a lottery bill.
Senate roll call: