The effort to legalize Alabama sports betting is already underway in 2023. With the Senate passing several legal measures previously, it seems the House will decide the fate of sports betting legislation in Alabama. If a bill is submitted again, Senate President Pro Tem Greg Reed expects it will receive "serious consideration" by the House later this year. On November 23, 2023, Alabama was to reconsider retail sports betting in 2024, preparing to review gambling legislation in the state's next legislative session, which begins March 2024. 

Alabama sports bettors can take a short drive to Tennessee to place legal online and mobile sports bets. Alabama bettors can register a sportsbook account, make deposits, and place bets from anywhere in Tennessee. AL sports gamblers can then withdraw funds from a TN sportsbook account after getting home.

In-person wagering can take place in another nearby state. Alabama sports bettors can visit Mississippi casinos to place sports bets at properties with brick-and-mortar sportsbooks.

Alabama is the United States capital of college football. The state produces the highest TV ratings for the sport. Of course, the University of Alabama is home to college football’s greatest dynasty. The Crimson Tide has a worldwide following. While the Auburn Tigers also command a large and passionate fan base.

Unfortunately, Alabama sports betting is not regulated, but residents still have options. They can bet in nearby states or with sportsbooks that allow Alabama residents. Alabama has no sports betting regulations. With strong fan bases and dominant CFB programs, betting on sports in Alabama is common. Unsurprisingly, the legal sports betting market is hungry for Alabama faithful.

Alabama Sports Betting Overview 

At the start of 2024, no one can place sports bets in Alabama. However, recent proposals to legalize event wagering have called for online and mobile sports betting. There appears to be significant interest in pushing a sports betting bill past the finish line in Alabama. With several neighboring states taking the plunge, it seems as if it's only a matter of time before Alabama is taking legal sports wagers. 

The state hasn’t had much success with gambling legislation in the past, but there seems to be an appetite to legalize Alabama sports betting at some point in the future.

Momentum towards legalization has been building over the last couple of years after a 2021 bill made it to the Alabama Senate floor before dying. 2022 brought a bill that proposed a constitutional amendment to legalize sports betting and institute a state lottery. That, too, failed to pass through the Legislature.

Two of Alabama’s border states, Mississippi and Tennessee, have legalized sports betting. Tennessee offers mobile-only sports betting, while bettors in Mississippi need to visit a casino to place their bets. Another border state, Georgia, has tried to pass mobile betting several times in recent years.

It seems likely that if more states begin to allow mobile betting that would be easily accessible to residents of Alabama, legislators would want to find a way to keep those tax dollars from leaving the state.

With no current sports betting legislation, it’s impossible to give a timeline right now. If sports betting in the state is eventually legalized, it can take three months to a year to implement and officially launch. With the Alabama legislature scheduled to convene on March 7, 2023, the earliest possible launch would likely be some time at the end of 2023, if not in 2024.

Alabama also has only three tribal casinos and no lottery, so retail Alabama sports betting could be sparse. The latest bill proposed in-person, on-premises play at licensed casinos or play through online platforms offered through those casinos. What future bills may propose or what kind of online sportsbook promos might be available is unclear.

No legal sportsbook websites accept bets from anyone within the state of Alabama. Any other websites that accept sports bets from someone in Alabama are not a legal option within the United States. Various familiar sportsbooks operate offshore, meaning they don’t hold a license from any US jurisdiction to accept bets from residents legally.

These websites offer no consumer protection whatsoever. Winning bets might not be paid out, and companies can disappear without returning player deposits.

The only safe and protected way to bet on sports in the United States is with a licensed operator.

Timeline for Alabama Sports Betting Legal Efforts 

Alabama is one of the most conservative states when it comes to gambling or online casinos. As a result, there hasn’t been any official ruling on whether Alabama sportsbooks can go legal. Lawmakers have put tremendous effort into this matter over the years but to no avail.

In 2023, Lawmakers in Alabama expect multiple gaming bills, including online sports betting bills, to be introduced during the state’s legislative session. There is a substantial appetite to legalize sports betting among lawmakers in the state, and the effort would reportedly have the backing of Gov. Kay Ivey.

The University of Alabama fired their head baseball coach, Brad Bohannon, amid an investigation into suspicious betting activity around an Alabama vs. LSU game on April 30. Multiple jurisdictions prevented sportsbooks from allowing sports betting wagers on Crimson Tide baseball.

In 2022, SB 293 and SB 294 were introduced. SB 293 proposed an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama and would have established a state lottery while allowing for sports betting and casino-style games. The bill limited sports betting to in-person play at a registered casino or mobile play through a platform provided by a registered casino. The bill limited the number of licensed facilities to five in the state.

SB 294 would have implemented the amendment proposed by SB 293. Both bills died on the Senate floor.

Also, in 2022, HB 405 was introduced to make sports betting legal solely within Jefferson County. Jefferson County contains the state’s largest city and capital, Birmingham. The bill did not make it passed a first reading.