Online Poker and Gambling in Alabama
2021 Update: Can I Play Online Poker in Alabama?
Alabama is a conservative state that’s opposed to gambling. But the governor recently ordered a study to look into expanding gambling. On 14, Feb. 2020, Gov. Kay Ivey signed Executive Order 719. This designated a team of a dozen people to look into expanding gaming in Alabama. It’s a step in the right direction. But no bill will be considered until the study is completed. That means there won’t be any bill until at least 2021.
A sports betting bill failed to pass in the state in 2019. Alabama has historically resisted gambling, but with states desperate for new sources of revenue, the new study could change this. This could be good for online poker in the Yellowhammer State.
Online Poker and Gambling Laws in Alabama
Alabama’s a strict state. They have less gambling than most states out there. A big part of the opposition is social and religious. There are some forms of legal gambling though. In Alabama law, the definition of gambling is laid out in Section 13A-12-20 of the state statutes. It says:
“A person engages in gambling if he stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that he or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.”
The keyword here is chance. That encompasses a lot of things. While a federal judge ruled that poker is a game of skill, there’s definitely some chance involved.
Alabama’s law defines “chance” as:
- Any contest, game, gaming scheme or gaming device in which the outcome depends in a material degree upon an element of chance, notwithstanding that skill of the contestants may also be a factor therein.”
Again, poker could fall under this category. There hasn’t been any legislation regarding online poker though. Most gambling laws in Alabama are a bit dated. All gambling legislation is held up until the new study is completed. In the last 20 years there have been around 180 gambling-related bills in the state.
Can I Play PokerStars in Alabama?
Sorry, not yet. While PokerStars was one of the most popular poker sites before Black Friday, it’s only available in two now. Alabama isn’t one of those. Those states also have state-regulated online poker, something that seems pretty far off in Alabama. Despite that, you can still get your poker fix in Alabama. Some sites accept players from all 50 states, including Alabama. If you’re looking for PokerStars alternatives available in the state, Ignition Poker or Intertops Poker accept players from across the US. We’ve reviewed several other sites too, so check out our top PokerStars alternatives for US players:
Legal Gambling in Alabama
These are the three legal forms of gambling in Alabama. The state has tribal casinos, pari-mutuel betting and charitable gaming. Alabama is one of the few states to not have a lottery though.
There are three tribal casinos in Alabama. They’re owned by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. It’s operated by PCI Gaming, and the Gaming Authority of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. The three casinos are:
- Creek Casino Montgomery
- Creek Casino Wetumpka
- Wind Creek Casino & Hotel
They are all Class II casinos, which means that the only games offered are bingo and electronic slots.
Although pari-mutuel betting is slowly on the decline in popularity, it still has a rich history tied to it. Visit this link to find all the gambling laws on pari-mutuel wagering.
Anyone who wants to run a charitable gaming event must get a license. Bingo halls are also popular in the state and are mostly run by non-profits. Even a bingo night for charity is under a close microscope.
We’ll tell you if this changes. That depends on the study! Once the results are out we’ll update you.
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