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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

$332 million from lottery, 13,500 jobs from casinos: What gambling could mean in Alabama


http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/04/332_for_lottery_13500_jobs_for.html#incart_river

Sen. Del Marsh is set to introduce a bill this week that could pave the way for a lottery and table gaming in Alabama.
As AL.com's Charles Dean put it, that's a "boom!" that will be heard around Alabama.
In an effort to sell the package, Marsh is citing at study by Auburn University in Montgomery that was commissioned by his office. Marsh, who serves as Senate Pro Tem, said he wanted to commission a study as opposed to using one sponsored by gambling interests in an effort to try and determine accurate numbers.
You'll be seeing a lot more on this proposal in the coming days but let's look at just the numbers from the AUM study. You can read the complete study for yourself here.
  • 44 – Number of states that currently have lotteries, including all states – except Mississippi – that border Alabama.
  • $425 million – Revenues generated by the Louisiana lottery. Louisiana's population is 4.65 million; Alabama's is 4.85 million. Louisiana revenue is the smallest amount generated by lotteries in states close to Alabama.
  • 56 – The percent of Louisiana's lottery revenue that goes towards prizes. Six percent goes to administration; 38 percent is available to the state. That percentage of revenue available from nearby states ranges from 21 percent (Arkansas) to 39 percent (Tennessee). National average is 33 percent.
  • 7 – Number of states that have exclusive gaming compacts with Indian tribes. Highest revenue among those states is in Connecticut, which has two casinos that bring in some $464 million in revenue a year.
  • $332 million – Potential annual revenue from state-run lottery system.
  • $492 million – Estimated gaming revenue from possible casinos in Birmingham, Greenetrack, Victoryland and Mobile. That translates to $64 million if taxed at 13 percent; $74 million if taxed at 15 percent.
  • 13,500 – Estimated jobs created if four casinos/hotels were opened in the state.
What do you think? Should Alabama have a lottery? What about table games?

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