Alabama is a state that has deep roots with college sports. You likely already know that the men’s football program at Alabama University is one of the top programs of the last 20 years, and many people in the state either are into the category of fans of Alabama or fans of Auburn. This fierce loyalty and love of college sports are tempered by a relatively conservative point of view on other fronts, and this spills into gambling in the state.
Sports Betting in Alabama
With such an appetite for sports, especially football, and basketball, you would think that Alabama would be one of the more progressive states when it comes to betting on sports.
Of course, it was only in 2018 that the Federal government repealed the law that made sports betting illegal outside of Nevada, and by the end of 2018 only a handful of states have passed legislation regulating sports betting. Alabama, unfortunately, is not one of those states.
So, what does that mean? Well, it means that for the time being, residents of Alabama won’t be able to walk into a casino and place a sports bet anytime soon. Our best guess would be that legislation may be introduced in 2019, although given the conservative nature of the state’s legislators, it may be longer than that.
Online Sports Betting
While there will likely be an online or mobile component of any sports betting legislation introduced in Alabama, for now, players can access any of the unregulated-based sportsbooks that accept players and deposits from the state. This gives bettors a place to play even if it is not regulated by the state but this is not a good idea, due to the dangerous nature of playing with unregulated sportsbooks. A better bet will be to visit Las Vegas or neighbouring states to place sports bets until Alabama changes its legislation.
Once the legislation changes, you will be able to turn back to this page to find the best online sportsbooks in Alabama.
Horse Betting in Alabama
When gambling laws are written, they are sometimes open for interpretation. Also, each individual jurisdiction seems to want to put their own stamp on anything written. This is definitely the case in Alabama when it comes to horse racing and betting on that sports.
As per the laws, as they are written, the legality of operating a racing track is based on the size of the city in which the track is to be located. For Alabama, only cities with over 300,000 population are allowed to have a horse or dog track. A weird quirk here is that no city in Alabama actually has a population of over 300,000 – the state is far more rural than that.
Despite this population challenge, the word of law has been loosely interpreted to include suburban areas. This means that there are indeed racetracks in the state. The largest of these are the Birmingham Race Course and Victoryland. Both of these are greyhound tracks, offering live racing most nights of the week and some daytime racing as well. The gaming licenses held by these tracks also allow gamblers to be able to bet on tracks and races from around the country, and these are all shown at the track via simulcast.
Online Horse Betting
Currently, the land-based tracks in Alabama are not allowed to offer to bet through their licenses, but that doesn’t mean that players cannot bet online
There are several companies that accept U.S. race betting online from Alabama residents. The largest of these are Twinspires.com, owned by Churchill Downs, and DRFBets which is operated by the Daily Racing Form. These sites, allow players from Alabama to bet on races from the U.S. and across the world.
Casino Gambling in Alabama
Casino gambling in Alabama follows along the lines of many of the United States. The state was trying to find ways to help prop up the Native Americans, whose tribes were floundering economically.
The quick fix, as it was in many states, was to hand the land-based casino rights to the local tribes. As a result, there are casinos in Alabama, but all of them are located on tribal land.
To complicate things further in Alabama, the gaming compact between the state and the tribe does not call for table games. This means that the casinos in the state are reduced to offering only slots games and video poker.
There has been a desire from the tribes and the casino gamblers to add table games to the licenses currently held by the casinos in the state, similar to neighboring states like Florida, but the government does not seem to be too quick to want to change things from their current position.
It is hoped that the impending discussion of regulating sports betting will also spark the conversation about table games so that it can be reopened as an issue. Adding table games would give Alabama residents a full casino experience while increasing revenues (and taxes) for the casinos.
Online Casinos in Alabama
There are currently no laws regarding online casinos in the state, aside from the land-based casinos not being allowed to operate an online form of the game.
There are still a vast number of casino operators to choose from that are accepting players from Alabama, but those are not licensed in Alabama, or the USA, so we do not recommend you play there. For now, the best is for Alabama residents to visit a local casino or plan a trip to Las Vegas if they want to enjoy casino games!
Other options for online casino play in Alabama is to try a free-to-play site which can be just as much fun as real money casino play.
Lottery in Alabama
Alabamans do have one way to easily get their gambling fix – playing the lottery. As with the majority of the states, lottery games are legal and available on almost every street corner. From trying to win millions on the Powerball to spending money on scratch tickets, there are many options available to residents of Alabama.
The state government holds the license for all lottery gaming, and the proceeds from lottery sales go to help the education system in Alabama. There have been some calls recently for an improvement to the assistance that the state provides, and while lottery may be maxed out, potential revenues from sports betting, and casino table games may help the cause.
Alabama Gambling FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Alabama?
At the time of writing this page, sports betting is not regulated inside the state of Alabama. Now, that can be a bit misleading – it isn’t illegal for players to make sports bets, there just aren’t any local establishments taking action currently. With no legal sports betting option in Alabama, residents will have to travel to other states to place sports bets.
When will sports betting be legal in Alabama?
The repeal of PASPA by the Supreme Court in May 2018 opened the floodgates for regulating sports betting at the state level. While Alabama was not part of the first wave of states to adopt legislation, we believe that it will be part of the next wave. This means that it is very likely that legislation will be introduced and approved in early 2019, with locations going live before the end of the year.
What is the best sportsbook for players from Alabama?
This is a tough question to answer because sportsbooks offer different products to different people. We think the best sites for Alabamans are the ones that focuses on sports that mean the most to residents of that state, like college basketball and football.
Also, we only recommend to play on sites that have been licensed in Alabama or elsewhere in the USA. Check out our Review section for more recommended sports betting sites.