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Casino possible in Houston County

The Alabama Senate this week passed a bill that would allow casino games in six counties.
Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 8:14 PM CDT
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HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. (WTVY) -Las Vegas style gambling could come to Houston County by 2023 if resurrected legislation receives final approval.

“We were dead in the water five weeks ago,” said Melody Lee, spokesperson for The Crossing at Big Creek. That development has an inside track to be awarded the casino designated for Houston County.

The Alabama Senate this week passed a bill that would allow casino games in six counties, with current operators gaming and greyhound racing operators in five of them receiving preferential treatment during a bidding process. The sixth location would be constructed in northeast Alabama.

“(We) are so grateful to our local legislators for believing in the economic impact that this would potentially have for Houston County,” Lee told WTVY on Wednesday.

Another bill passed in the Senate would allow a referendum on a state operated lottery.

A study group created by Governor Kay Ivey predicts that the state will rake in more than $700 million a year if it expands gambling.

“Over five years it could mean $20 million dollars in revenue and 1200 full time jobs for Houston County,” Lee predicted.

In the past, lottery and other gambling legislation have failed. However, they may have a better shot this year because Ivey is pushing legislation with the belief that gambling issues should be decided by voters.

The bills are headed to the House, where 63 of 105 members must vote in favor of them to get the constitutional amendments on the November 2022 ballot.

“We would love for that to happen,” Lee said.

Copyright 2021 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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