Actually, almost all the US Internet poker sites on our homepage are more than willing to accept real poker players casino internet gambling the Yellowhammer State. The burden of injecting the issue is on the defendant, but this does not shift the burden of proof.
There are no indications that Alabama will regulate online poker games any time soon. Sports Betting: Yes, you can bet on greyhound racing and horse racing at several tracks in Alabama. This form of gambling was exempted from the laws as a game of skill in Gambling is via pari-mutuel pools and can be watched on TV.
Lottery Betting: No, there is no State lottery in Alabama, and this State does not participate in any national schemes. Yes, bingo exists at Indian Casinos, though there are currently legal battles going on covering electronic bingo machines. Bingo and raffle games are also legal under charitable gambling laws, under strict license and conditions. During Civil War times there were lotteries running which included neighboring Southern States.
These ended in acrimony, with Louisiana leaving the deal under protest. It is this which paints the broad definition of gambling — and everything since then has revolved around carve-outs or crack-downs based on this initial legal document. Here is the timeline of events. Alabama State constitution bans all forms of gambling with wording broad enough to encompass just about every game you can think of.
Over the years this definition has been interpreted as covering any game with even an element of chance. For example, some people argue that poker is a game of skill, however since the turning of cards is a chance factor — this is considered gambling under Alabama law.
Pari-Mutuel betting at greyhound racing and horse racing tracks is ruled Legal by the Supreme Court. This is overseen by the Alabama Racing Commission — and has since been extended to betting on televised live races. These casinos are restricted to slot machines and some type of Bingo games.
This leads to the opening of 3 tribal casinos in this State — though most residents simply travel to Mississippi to enjoy the table games which are still banned under Alabaman law. In more recent years there have been attempts to restart a State lottery, to have electronic bingo machines in the current casinos and a crack-down on video poker machines.
While these have been debated in the courts and State government — each time the law has stood up. As far as gambling is concerned, if there is an element of chance — then it is banned. Plus, never in the history of AL State has someone faced a criminal charge for merely playing online at poker websites.
Instead, it seems Alabama state officials are more concerned with those operating an illegal gambling ring, and not those gambling real money on Internet poker tables in Real cash gambling, as well as other terms related to gambling, are clearly defined by Alabama state law.
Note that the definition only applies to games of chance. Thus, real money poker players in The Heart of Dixie could conceivably make an argument that they are not engaging in gambling activity by playing online poker in , by definition of the law. A person commits the crime of simple gambling if he knowingly advances or profits from unlawful gambling activity as a player. The violation for simple gambling is a Class C misdemeanor.
Section 13A Promoting gambling, in other words profiting from poker gambling or other betting activities as a non-player, is subject to harsher penalties Class A misdemeanor. In the days following the American Civil War, the state legalized lotteries. However, due to competition from neighboring states, the lotteries failed to generate much in the way of sustainable real money revenue and were banned.
And by , all games of chance, including poker betting, were deemed illegal by the AL state Constitution. During the Great Depression of the s, Phoenix City went bankrupt, prompting city officials to grant lawful gambling licenses. Unfortunately, organized crime leaders caught wind of this, and began setting up shop. Crime rates rose dramatically, leading to the eventual assassination of an Alabama conservative Attorney General in For the next several decades, law authorities cracked down on poker gambling and other betting games and public sentiment towards gambling remained negative until the s.
But the state of Alabama must be a confusing place to operate games of chance — over the past twenty years, electronic bingo and other games have gone from illegal to legal and all the way back around again. While the state has only recently re-legalized horse race betting, lawmakers are dragging their feet on the question of allowing for more regulated gaming statewide.
This quote from section 13A of the constitution defines illegal gambling as:. Take that language to its literal end, and all bets are illegal in Alabama. Alabama is one of a number of US states that defer to municipal and county laws in the case of gambling regulation.
Their constitution is the longest in the entire world. The Constitution of India — governing 1. As a result, seven cities and two entire counties have legalized certain forms of gambling. All these areas made a simple analysis of the cost vs. Technically, these areas have been breaking state law for forty or fifty years, but all with no incident and no record of an arrest. So long as the action is limited to electronic bingo and race betting, the state has no interest in intervening.
Any prosecutor worth his salt could make a case that your laptop, smartphone, or computer used to access online casinos or sportsbooks constitutes an illegal gambling device. After all, it is normally used in the playing phase of a gambling activity. And yes — these are among the toughest penalties in the country related to gambling. Scary facts aside, online gambling in Alabama is a decidedly low-risk activity. No complaint, no enforcement. As we were preparing this guide to Alabama gaming law, news came over the wire that the state of Alabama had just declared real-money daily fantasy sports betting illegal.
The office declared:. This news comes just weeks after some progress was made in the state house — two bills to legalize and regulate DFS as a new source of revenue for the state passed low-ranking committees. As confusing as Alabama law is, one thing remains clear — online gambling is not explicitly illegal.
Alabama has a way of pulling the rug out from under gamblers overnight, making certain bets illegal that had been legal for years, while creating new regulated markets at the same time. The API is a conservative think-tank. Topics include: This well-written and often hilarious editorial reveals a lot about public perception of Alabama gambling law.
The confusion comes from the weird wording of the state constitution:. Check this out, from the penalty clause for the crime of simple gambling:. Clearly, the state recognizes a distinction between games played privately and those played in public. But how can you stay within the law? How can you make sure that your private game is a legal social one?
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