USAfriendlyPokerSites.com

Alabama Online Poker & Gambling Legislation

Alabama Poker OnlineAlabama is considered a very conservative state when it comes to gambling. They do have a few tribal casinos and dog tracks, but for the most part gambling is considered illegal in Alabama. However, the laws do not specifically target online gambling.

Alabama is not one of the states that are currently in the process of legalizing online gambling. The history of strict gambling laws in the state of Alabama suggests that they will likely opt out of any federal legalization of online gaming, but they have made no official statement about this issue. No one has ever been charged for gaming online in Alabama. [1]

Are Poker Sites Accepting Alabama Poker Players for Real Money?

Yes! Several online poker sites accept players from Alabama. In fact, native Alabama resident Herb Tapscott says that he sharpens his skills by playing poker online. Tapscott is a professional poker player that won $264,000 at WSOP Tournament in 2012.

All poker sites that accept players from the US accept players from Alabama. Alabama has made no move to state that playing poker online is illegal or to criminalize any online poker players. [2]

Is it Legal to Play Poker Online in Alabama?

We are not the deciding factor about the legality of playing online poker in Alabama, but we have found no law that specifically targets online poker play. We do know that no one has ever been brought up on charges for playing online poker in Alabama.

The laws concerning gambling in Alabama are very old laws that have not been updated in many years. The most recent change to gambling laws came in 1971 when Alabama legalized betting on horse and dog races. They consider these races a game of skill and not a game of chance. This is their justification for legalizing these aspects of gambling.

Poker players consider the game of poker to be a game of skill and not a game of chance. If Alabama continues to follow these guidelines for legalizing gambling then there is hope that someday playing poker online in Alabama will be regulated, and we will not have to guess at the legality. Listed below are several interesting points concerning the legality of online poker in Alabama: [3]

  • Online poker is not currently regulated by the state of Alabama.
  • Betting on Horse Racing and Dog Racing are legal in the state of Alabama. These are considered games of skill which is a good sign for poker players.
  • Tribal casinos are authorized by the state.
  • Alabama is one of the 7 states that don’t have a state lottery.
  • There is no Alabama law that directly prohibits or criminalizes the act of placing a wager online.

Alabama Gambling History

Alabama has a long sordid history when it comes to gambling. The history dates back to the late 1800’s and it has been an ongoing battle between the extreme Christians, who believed gambling was immoral, and the people who want to move forward with gambling.

The history as we know it began immediately following the Civil War. Many southern states chose to legalize gambling in some form. State lotteries were one of the most attractive at that time, and Alabama had a state lottery. The lotteries between the states became competitive, and the lottery in Alabama was not bringing in as much money as lotteries from other states. Alabama decided to ban the lottery and several other forms of gambling. In 1901, an amendment to the constitution in Alabama prohibited lotteries and other forms of gambling and officially made them illegal. Citizens caught gambling could be punished of crimes after this amendment to the constitution. [4]

Fast forward to 1930 and the local government had a change of heart because Phoenix City, Alabama was bankrupt. They were in desperate need for funds so the city leaders decided to issue gambling licenses which they charged for. This worked well for a few years, but by 1954 there were several organized crime establishments that had made their way into the gambling scene. The mayor decided to outlaw all gambling and shut the establishments down.

This is where things stood until 1971. This is when the state legalized wagering at dog and horse tracks. These forms of wagering were only legalized because they were considered to be based on skill instead of chance, and therefore, they were not considered gambling by Alabama’s definition of gambling.

Various other gambling ventures started popping up around the state in the 1980’s. The state legalized charitable bingo organizations. Indian Tribes also started setting up casinos in the state of Alabama. This has been an ongoing legal battle.

In 2010, one of the state’s largest casinos, Victoryland Casino, is closed after Governor Bob Riley campaigned to close illegal gambling organizations. Victoryland Casino reopened in December, 2012 after an ongoing legal battle about the legality of the gaming machines in operation. The attorney general’s office raided Victoryland Casino in February, 2013 and seized several gaming machines and cash. [5] The casino is currently closed and still battling to reopen.

Legalized Gambling Options in Alabama

The residents of Alabama are very limited when it comes to regulated gambling within the state. They are allowed to play bingo at regulated charitable bingo halls. They are also allowed to bet at the horse races and dog races which are regulated by the state. These are currently the only forms of regulated gambling in the state of Alabama.

Will Alabama Legalize Online Gambling in the Future?

There is currently no indication that Alabama will legalize online gambling. However, if Alabama follows the same guidelines that they follow concerning horse racing and dog racing then there is hope that someday Alabama will legalize online poker. Poker is considered a game of skill by the majority of people. The fact that it is considered a game of skill is currently the only hope for residents of Alabama to see some kind of legal regulation of online poker in the future.

References:

  1. Jump up ^ Alabama Gambling Laws
  2. Jump up ^ Gambling in Alabama
  3. Jump up ^ Alabama Betting Legal or Illegal
  4. Jump up ^ History of Gambling in Alabama
  5. Jump up ^ VictoryLand Casino Shut Down by Raid
☰ MENU