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Alabama Sports Betting Updates

Sports betting is illegal in Alabama. Following a failed attempt to pass legislation for retail and online sportsbooks in 2022, the earliest sports betting can be legalized in AL is 2023.

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Sports betting sites are not available in Alabama. However, sports fans in AL can play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games on the sites listed above.

Contents

Alabama Sports Betting Summary

There are currently no legal options to bet on sports in Alabama, with retail and online sportsbooks both outlawed. There have been multiple attempts to legalize betting, including in 2022 when Senator Greg Albritton introduced SB 293 and SB 294 to the Senate.

While neither SB 293 nor SB 294 passed, Sen. Albritton intends to introduce another sports betting bill in 2023. That bill could include similar legislation to SB 294, which would have provided four retail sportsbook licenses to AL’s four racetracks and allowed four betting sites to launch online. SB 294 also included plans to set up a new sports betting commission to oversee wagering in Alabama. If these measures pass in 2023, AL could join the list of legal sports betting states in late 2023 or 2024.

Read our complete guide to sports betting in the Heart of Dixie for the latest updates on legislation, legal online betting options, and the nearby states to visit for placing sports wagers.

Alabama Online Sportsbooks Summary

Online sports betting is illegal in Alabama. There have been attempts to legalize it, including SB 294 in 2022, but all have failed. There will likely be another attempt to bring sports wagering to AL in 2023, and lawmakers will likely include mobile sports betting on the bill.

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) were made illegal in the Yellowhammer State in 2016 but then legalized by HB 361, which Governor Kay Ivey signed in June 2019. You can sign up and play DFS games with ESPN, Boom, Yahoo!, FantasyDraft, DraftKings, and FanDuel. Online horse racing betting is also legal in Alabama via the likes of BetAmerica, TVG, and TwinSpires.

Of the four states that border Alabama, only Tennessee offers online sports betting. There are 12 online sportsbooks in Tennessee, including BetMGM, Caesars, and Barstool Sportsbook. Mississippi only allows retail sports betting at 29 different casinos, with big brands like DraftKings and FanDuel in operation.

How to Place a Bet in Alabama

While you can’t wager on sports in Alabama, you can place bets on horse races online. If you’ve never placed an online wager before, follow our step-by-step guide to get started:

  1. Research the horse races you want to place wagers on. Information about form and turf conditions will give you a greater chance of placing winning bets.

  2. Choose a legal horse racing betting site like BetAmerica, TwinSpires, or TVG.

  3. Register an account by entering your full name, address, date of birth, and the last four digits of your Social Security number. Betting sites need this information to combat fraud and underage gambling.

  4. Visit the site’s cashier section and choose a deposit method. Add money to your account, ensuring you deposit enough to claim any welcome bonuses.

  5. Browse through the horse racing markets to find the wager you want to make. Add it to your bet slip, choose how much to stake, and place your bet.

  6. If your bet wins, return to the cashier section and follow instructions to withdraw your winnings.

Banking Methods Available in Alabama

You can make deposits using various trusted payment methods with legal online horse racing betting sites in Alabama.

Most sites will let you use Visa and Mastercard, although transactions with other bank cards may be limited. Some banks have not updated their policies for online gambling sites since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) was struck down in 2018, allowing individual states to legalize betting.

In addition to bank cards, you can often find e-wallets like PayPal and Skrill available for making deposits and withdrawals. PayNearMe cards let you top up your balance at local retailers like CVS and Walgreens, and you can use those cards to deposit money into your account.

If Alabama legalizes online sports betting, many of the same methods will be available with sportsbooks. You can also expect payment methods tailored specifically for online gambling like Play+ cards.

Who is Eligible to Bet in AL?

The legal gambling age in Alabama depends on the gambling activity you’re taking part in. The minimum age requirement for horse racing betting is 18, and to compete in Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) competitions, you must be at least 19. The legal minimum age to gamble in casinos is technically 18, but because all casinos in Alabama serve alcohol, the effective age to gamble in AL casinos is 21. If Alabama legalizes sports betting, the minimum age will likely be 21, as is the case in most legal betting states in the US.

Additionally, you will have to be physically located within Alabama state lines if online sports betting is introduced. You must activate the geolocation services on your mobile device to prove this. Individuals on the list below will likely be prohibited from placing sports bets in AL:

  • Athletes, coaches, or members of any professional sports team.

  • Referees for professional and college sports leagues.

  • Individuals with the professional authority to influence players.

  • Individuals employed by the leagues that create rules for sports (e.g., NBA, NCAA).

  • Individuals employed by organizations with licensing from Alabama’s sports betting regulatory body, including key staff, owners, directors, and officers.

  • Individuals with a stake in a sports team.

  • Individuals with access to non-public information about a sports team (e.g., player medical records).

  • Individuals that have voluntarily excluded themselves from gambling activities.

  • Individuals prohibited from betting on a state or federal level (e.g., due to criminal history).

Latest Alabama Sports Betting Updates

Current Sports Betting Status in Alabama

Online and retail sports betting are illegal in Alabama, despite attempts being made to pass legislation in 2019, 2021, and 2022. A new attempt to pass legislation will be made in 2023. However, lawmakers legalized Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games in AL in 2019, so you can access ESPN, Boom, Yahoo!, FantasyDraft, DraftKings, and FanDuel’s platforms, while betting on horse racing online is also legal. You can visit neighboring Tennessee to place online wagers on sports or travel to Mississippi to visit a casino’s retail sportsbook.

Timeline for Sports Betting in Alabama

  • April 4, 2022: There is no vote on SB 294 and SB 293 during the legislative session, and both bills die. Sen. Albritton confirms he will submit new sports betting bills in 2023.

  • March 3, 2022: The “Gambling Control Bill” SB 294 is introduced to the Senate along with SB 293. SB 293 proposes a constitutional amendment, while SB 294 detailed the proposed laws. The bills, sponsored by Sen. Albritton, intends to legalize retail and online sports betting. The state’s racetracks will receive retail licenses to open sportsbooks and racinos. The bills will also bring a lottery to the state.

  • April 13, 2021: SB 310 passes the Senate despite SB 214 failing to make any progress.

  • March 18, 2021: SB310, a bill to establish a sports betting regulator in Alabama in connection with SB 214, is introduced to the Senate.

  • February 9, 2021: SB 214, a bill to legalize sports betting and renegotiate the tribal gaming compacts, is introduced to the Senate by Sen. Del Marsh. The bill also intends to construct six more tribal casinos across Alabama to operate sportsbooks. While SB 214 receives three readings in the Senate, it doesn’t go anywhere.

  • May 29, 2019: Gov. Ivey signs HB 361 to legalize Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games in AL.

  • April 4, 2019: HB 361, a bill to legalize Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in Alabama, is introduced by Representative Kyle South.

  • April 2, 2019: HB 315 is introduced to the House by Rep. John W. Rodgers to legalize sports betting in Alabama. However, the bill gains no momentum and dies.

  • May 14, 2018: The US Supreme Court overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). This gives individual states the right to legalize sports betting.

  • April 6, 2016: Alabama Attorney General Luthor Strange orders all Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games to stop and declares them illegal.

Alabama Sports Betting Background

Alabama has traditionally held a negative attitude towards gambling and sports betting. In 1901, the state made all forms of gambling illegal. However, a year later, the state legalized horse racing and greyhound racing. Lawmakers legalized bingo games at tribal casinos in 1980. Alabama still does not offer a lottery, and the tribal casinos do not provide table games or poker.

Sports betting has come under opposition on conservative and religious grounds. However, momentum is slowly swinging the way of sports betting, with multiple bills passing the Senate in 2021 and 2022. Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) were legalized in 2019, giving Alabama residents some online sports games to enjoy.

Future of Alabama Sports Betting

Sen. Albritton has confirmed he will submit further sports betting bills in 2023. Following the failure on the House floor of SB 294, he said: “I’m still trying to work with House members and reach out to the governor’s office to find out where we are.”

The attempt to legalize sports betting in 2023 will likely include four retail sports betting licenses for each of the state’s racetracks and online sports betting licenses for brands that successfully meet the state’s licensing requirements.

If the state agrees to gaming compacts with tribal casinos, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians could launch retail Betfred sportsbooks. The Tribe owns Wind Creek Casino in Pennsylvania, which has already opened a Betfred sportsbook. FanDuel and DraftKings also seem like likely sportsbooks to launch, considering the DFS presence of both brands in AL.

Alabama Sports Betting Locations

There are currently three tribal casinos in Alabama operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. These casinos prohibit table games; the only gambling option is electronic bingo games replicating casino slots. There seems to be demand for sports betting to launch at tribal casinos, with SB 214 including action to renegotiation tribal gaming compacts to allow tribes to operate sportsbooks. The bill also proposed building six more tribal casinos in the state to accept retail sports wagers.

The bill that passed the Senate in 2022, SB 294, included a provision for legalizing land-based racinos at the state’s racetracks, as well as retail sportsbooks. Sen. Albritton has confirmed he will reintroduce the bill in 2023, offering another opportunity for more sports betting locations in Alabama in the future.

If you want to visit retail sportsbooks and place wagers, you can cross the border to neighboring Mississippi. There are 29 retail sportsbooks located at casinos in Mississippi, some of which are operated by major US brands like Caesars, FanDuel, and DraftKings. BetMGM offers a mobile app you can use to bet on the grounds of the Gold Strike Casino Resort and Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in MS.

Alabama Lottery Locations

Alabama is one of five US states that does not have a lottery, alongside Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah. Two sports betting bills that passed the Senate in 2021 – SB 319 and SB 310 – included the legalization of a lottery in Alabama, but these bills died. SB 294 also tried to legalize a lottery in Alabama, so another attempt will likely be made in 2023.

Off-Track and Stadium Betting Locations

There is no sports betting in Alabama, so you can’t visit sports venues and wager. However, you can place pari-mutuel bets at the state’s four racetracks. The Alabama Department of Revenue oversees pari-mutuel betting. None of these racetracks offer live racing, as the last horse race in AL took place in 1995. The last greyhound race was in 2020, as racing stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can visit these locations and place simulcast bets.

While there is currently no horse racing, there are dozens of speedways across Alabama with motorsports racing and dirt rallying. The most famous is the Talladega Superspeedway, the longest NASCAR oval in the US.

Location Address Phone Number
Birmingham Race Course 1000 John Rogers Drive, Birmingham, AL 35235 (205) 838-7500
Greenetrack 524 County Road 208, Eutaw, AL 35462 (205) 372-9318
Mobile Greyhound Park 7101 Old Pascagoula Road, Theodore, AL 36582 (251) 653-5000
VictoryLand Casino 8680 County Road 40, Shorter, AL 36075 (334) 727-0540

Alabama Responsible Gambling Resources

  • Alabama National Council on Problem Gambling – Guides individuals experiencing problem gambling to local support resources. It also offers a 24/7 live chat and a helpline. (800) 522-4700.

  • Alabama Council on Compulsive Gambling – Provides counseling to problem gamblers and anyone affected by problem gambling. It also offers education on problem gambling. (334) 277-5100

  • Gamblers Anonymous – Organizes meetings for individuals experiencing problem gambling to share their experiences while operating a treatment program. (251) 378-5018

Tribal casinos in Alabama do not provide a joint self-exclusion program. This would likely be the same if retail sportsbooks launched at these locations. However, the new sports betting regulatory body outlined in SB 294 would probably enforce responsible gambling measures like deposit limits and time limits to mirror the provisions in other states.

Teams to Bet on in Alabama

  • Pro Sports

There are no professional sports teams in Alabama. While the state has a similar population (5.1m) to other regions with major league teams like Minnesota and Colorado, AL is surrounded by states with major league franchises.

AL residents tend to get behind the following teams from nearby states:

Florida Georgia Tennessee
Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL) Atlanta Falcons (NFL) Tennessee Titans (NFL)
Miami Dolphins (NFL) Atlanta Hawks (NBA) Memphis Grizzlies (NBA)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL) Atlanta Braves (MLB) Nashville Predators (NHL)
Miami Heat (NBA)
Orlando Magic (NBA)
Miami Marlins (MLB)
Tampa Bay Rays (MLB)
Florida Panthers (NHL)
Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL)
  • Minor League Sports

Alabama-based basketball fans can throw their support behind the Birmingham Squadron, who compete in the NBA G-League and are affiliated with the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans. Known as the Erie Bay Hawks from 2019-2021, the Squadron played their first season in 2021-2022, finishing fourth in the Western Conference and losing in the conference quarterfinal. Home games are played at the Legacy Arena, which has a capacity of 17,654.

If baseball is your sport, you have three minor league options in Alabama: the Birmingham Barons, the Montgomery Biscuits, and the Rocket City Trash Pandas. The Barons play in the Southern League and are a Double-A affiliate of the MLB’s Chicago White Sox. The team has a history dating back to 1885 and boasts six Dixie Series Titles and 12 league titles. Their list of notable players is long, with Bo Jackson, Reggie Jackson, and NBA legend Michael Jordan for a season in 1994, all playing for the Barons.

The Biscuits, meanwhile, are a Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays and, like the Barons, play baseball in the Southern League. The team has played in Montgomery since 2004, previously operating under various names in Orlando, Florida. Biscuits fans have seen success since the move to Montgomery, with league titles in 2006 and 2007.

Joining the Barons and the Biscuits in the Southern League are the Trash Pandas, who were established in 2020 and are a Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels. Named after raccoons local to the Huntsville Area, the Trash Pandas play baseball in the Southern League.

If football is your passion, the Birmingham Stallions are a professional team playing in the United States Football League (USFL). 2022 was the inaugural USFL season, and the Stallions won the league championship. In the inaugural 2022 season, all games were played in Birmingham, and the team switched between playing at the 47,000-capacity Protective Stadium or the 71,000-capacity Legion Field to fit the fixture schedule.

  • College Sports

Alabama A&M Bulldogs: The Bulldogs have 15 varsity teams competing for Alabama A&M University. The Bulldogs won five Division II National Championships between 1977 and 1993, before completing their transition to Division I in 1999. Since then, the men’s basketball team has made the men’s NCAA tournament once in 2005.

Alabama Crimson Tide: The Crimson Tide represent the University of Alabama in the Southeastern Conference. While Alabama has won National Championships in men’s golf, women’s gymnastics, softball, and golf, they are synonymous with success in football. Alabama has won 18 National Championships in football and is best known for its two coaching dynasties. Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant won six National Championships during his tenure from 1958-1982, and Nick Saban has won seven since taking over as head coach in 2007. The Crimson Tide has produced eight NFL players that have reached the Pro Football Hall of Fame including Bart Starr, Joe Namath, and Ken Stabler.

Alabama State Hornets: Alabama State University is represented by the Hornets in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The Lady Hornets basketball team has won the Conference Championship three times since 2003. Each year they moved to the postseason and were knocked out in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Auburn Tigers: The Tigers of Auburn University compete in the Southeastern Conference. The Tigers are a national swimming powerhouse, winning 15 National Championships across men’s and women's competitions. Despite this, the Tigers are best known for their intense rivalry with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Competing in the ‘Iron Bowl’, their football rivalry is considered one of the fiercest in American sports. Auburn has won two football National Championships, the most recent in 2010 when they were led by Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton, who has enjoyed two spells with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and has also played for the New England Patriots.

Jacksonville State Gamecocks: The Gamecocks represent Jacksonville State University in the ASUN Conference. Cheered on by their mascot Cocky the Gamecock, the school is represented by 15 varsity teams and is the only school to win Division II titles in football, baseball, and basketball before transitioning to Division I in 1995.

North Alabama Lions: The Lions of the University of North Alabama started their transition to a Division I program in 2018. Now competing in the ASUN Conference, the Lions play in purple and gold. The Lions will hope to replicate their Division II history, which saw them win two National Championships in basketball, three in football, and one each in softball and women’s volleyball.

Samford Bulldogs: Samford University is represented by the Bulldogs in the Southern Conference in 17 varsity sports. The Bulldogs won the baseball Conference Championship in 2012, 2018, and 2021. 24 players who played for the Bulldogs baseball team were drafted to MLB from 2012 to 2022, including former MLB player Phillip Ervin.

South Alabama Jaguars: The University of South Alabama has 17 varsity teams that compete in the Sun Belt Conference. Historically a strong baseball school, the Jaguars have made the NCAA Tournament 28 times and hold the record for Sun Belt Championships with 13. The Jaguars have a state rivalry with fellow Sun Belt Conference members Troy Trojans.

Troy Trojans: 15 varsity teams compete in the Sun Belt Conference representing Troy University. Troy’s football team competes in the FBS, the highest tier of college football. The Trojans have made eight bowl games since moving to the FBS in 2001 and have a 5-3 record as of 2022. Their alumni include Super Bowl winners Demarcus Ware and Osi Umenyiora.

UAB Blazers: The Blazers of the University of Alabama at Birmingham compete in Conference USA. The Blazers have a strong basketball pedigree from making 15 NCAA tournament appearances, including an Elite Eight appearance and three Sweet Sixteen games. Home games are played in the Bartow Arena, an 8,500-capacity venue in Birmingham.

  • Women’s Sports

There are no professional women’s sports teams in Alabama. Still, women’s college sports teams receive huge amounts of support. Both the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers have strong women’s basketball teams. Neither team has won the NCAA Tournament, but both have made deep runs, with Auburn finishing runner-up three times and Alabama making the Final Four in 1994.

How Does Alabama Compare to Other States?

  • Market Coverage

With no legal sports betting available in Alabama, local residents are missing out on a host of wagering markets. If you visit nearby Tennessee or Mississippi, you’ll find major US sportsbooks like Caesars, WynnBET, and Barstool Sportsbook. These operators cover all the major US sports like the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. However, you’ll also find betting lines for niche sports like NASCAR, MMA, and European soccer.

Previous attempts to legalize sports betting in Alabama have not included restrictions on collegiate wagering. This means fans could bet on the Iron Bowl football match between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers or other NCAA matchups if similar proposals are made and are successful in the future.

  • Competitive Odds & Prices

Sportsbooks that operate in neighboring states would likely launch in Alabama and include some of the biggest brands in the US. Sportsbooks like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM operate in more than a dozen states, where there are many different betting sites for competition. These sportsbooks must provide generous betting odds to stand out and offer the same betting lines in every US state. So Alabama bettors can expect those generous odds to arrive when sports betting is legalized.

  • Gambling Revenue

Alabama Gov. Ivey commissioned a report in 2020 to establish how much tax revenue could be generated by legalizing gambling in the Yellowhammer State. The study, published on December 18, 2020, estimated sports betting would be worth up to $10 million in state tax each year.

Unlike Alabama, most states of its size with legal sports betting are home to major league sports teams, so comparing AL’s projected revenue with confirmed figures is tricky. Iowa does not have a major league sports team, and there is only a 2 million population difference between Alabama (around 5m) and Iowa (around 3m). Iowa has handled $4,137,993,566 in wagers, with sportsbook revenue of $254,824,394 as of July 2022. Iowa has a tax rate of 6.75% and has collected $18,296,728 in taxes.

The failed SB 294 bill suggested a tax rate of 20% for all Alabama sportsbooks. Assuming a similar betting revenue to Iowa, Alabama could have collected around $50 million in taxes from August 2019 to July 2022.

Previous legislation intended to split the sports betting tax collected in AL: 30% for mental health services, 20% for broadband expansion efforts, 20% for rural health care, 15% for road and bridge projects, and 5% for state parks and historical sites.

  • Betting Taxes

All sports bettors in the US need to declare gambling winnings to the IRS. If you win more than $600, you must complete a W-2G form. However, you can also deduct losses from your gambling winnings. Sportsbooks can withhold up to 25% of your winnings for tax purposes. You must include your betting profits when paying your state income tax. This varies from 2% to 5% in the Heart of Dixie.

Sportsbooks must also follow the Internal Revenue Code and pay a 0.25% excise tax on every monthly betting handle. Additionally, every employee involved in taking wagers incurs a $50 charge.

Who Oversees Sports Betting in Alabama?

As there is no legal sports betting in Alabama, there is no regulatory body for when sports wagering is legalized. As Alabama has no lottery and the Department of Revenue licenses pari-mutuel wagering, lawmakers can’t expand a similar regulatory body to include sports betting.

Recent legislation has suggested the creation of a new sports betting commission in the state. While no bills to legalize wagering have passed yet, SB 310, a bill to create a sports betting commission called the Alabama Gaming Commission, passed the Senate in 2021.

FAQs

Is betting legal in Alabama?

No, sports betting is not legal in Alabama. Many attempts have been made to legalize online and retail sportsbooks in AL, but none have been successful.

Who would govern sports betting in Alabama?

Alabama would need to set up a new organization to govern sports betting. Recent legislation suggested setting up two new regulatory bodies, the Alabama Gaming Commission to oversee sports betting and the Alabama Education Lottery to create a state-wide lottery.

How old would you have to be to bet in Alabama?

You will likely have to be at least 21 years old to bet on sports in Alabama. If Alabama online sports betting legalized, you will also need to be physically located within state lines and prove this using the geolocation services on your mobile device.

When will sports betting launch in Alabama?

The earliest sports betting can be legalized in Alabama is 2023. If any legislation passes, sports betting could launch in late 2023 or 2024.

Where will I be able to bet on sports in Alabama?

If sports betting is legalized, Alabama’s four racetracks will likely be given retail sportsbooks licenses. In addition, the state may renegotiate the tribal gaming compacts to allow sports betting at tribal casinos. Online sports betting will be available in AL as long as you are within state borders.

Will sportsbooks in Alabama be safe?

Alabama sportsbooks will be safe when it legalizes sports wagering. Lawmakers plan to launch a new sports betting commission, primarily responsible for holding sportsbooks to high safety standards.

Would I have to pay taxes on betting winnings in Alabama?

Yes. All sports bettors in the US must declare gambling winnings to the IRS. Wins over $600 require you to complete a W-2G form. You also must include your gambling winnings when submitting your state income tax return.

Can you play DraftKings in Alabama?

You cannot wager with DraftKings as sports betting is not legal in Alabama. Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games have, however, been legal in AL since 2019, and DraftKings provides games on the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL.

Can you play FanDuel in Alabama?

Sports betting is illegal in Alabama, so you can’t bet with FanDuel. If you travel to neighboring Tennessee, you can bet with FanDuel anywhere in the state. Mississippi is home to a retail FanDuel sportsbook at Sam’s Town Casino.

Can you play BetMGM in Alabama?

No, BetMGM is not licensed in Alabama. However, you can visit the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino or Gold Strike Casino Resort in neighboring Mississippi and wager at BetMGM retail sportsbooks. Alternatively, you can download the BetMGM app in Tennessee.

Can you play Caesars in Alabama?

You can’t bet with Caesars in Alabama. However, you can visit neighboring Mississippi, which is home to five retail Caesars sportsbooks. Alternatively, you can go to Tennessee and wager via Caesars’ online betting site.

Can you play TwinSpires in Alabama?

No, sports betting is illegal in Alabama. However, AL residents aren’t missing out as TwinSpires is currently shutting down its online sports betting operations.

Which sportsbooks will be available in Alabama in the future?

New gaming compacts with tribal casinos could see Betfred retail sportsbooks launch at tribal casinos in Alabama. In addition, the state’s race tracks would be able to partner with online sportsbooks, so big brands like BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel would be expected to launch.