Alabama

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Major events in Alabama gaming history

1973

Mobile Greyhound Park is the first racetrack to open in Alabama

1977

Greenetrack is the second Greyhound track to open

1984

Victoryland, in Macon County, runs its first Greyhound meeting
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians becomes the only federally recognized tribe in the state

1987

Birmingham Turf Club opens as the first horse track in the state

1988

A bankrupt Birmingham suspends live racing

1989

Horse racing resumes at the renamed Birmingham Race Course

1991

Birmingham suspends live horse racing

1992

Birmingham adds a Greyhound track and runs both types of racing for four years

1995

Last year of horse racing at Birmingham; only Greyhound racing is offered beginning in 1996

1998

Last year of live racing at Greenetrack

1999

Voters reject a referendum to legalize a state lottery

2008

In December, Gov. Bob Riley creates the Task Force on Illegal Gambling

2009

Poarch Band of Creek Indians opens its casinos with electronic bingo

2010

Alabama Senate passes a bill to legalize and tax electronic bingo, but the measure never makes it to a House vote
Task Force leads to shutdown of some 30 electronic bingo casinos

2011

In January, new Gov. Robert Bentley disbands the Task Force, transferring its cases to new Attorney General Luther Strange
In March, Greenetrack is the first of the casinos to reopen with a new type of bingo machine
Victoryland ends live Greyhound racing in May; simulcasting continues
Greenetrack's new machines are seized in a June raid and gaming ends until the facility reopens in September


Casinos and casino-style gaming

Racetracks and other locations in Alabama have tried to offer electronic gaming machines of some sort for several years. Birmingham Race Course offered “electronic sweepstakes” machines, where patrons would buy Internet time on cards which constituted entries into the sweepstakes. The machines would indicate whether players won when their cards were inserted. The sweepstakes machines were the subject of an Alabama Supreme Court decision in 2006 where they were determined to be illegal slot machines.

The definition of a slot machine has been the key issue in Alabama, since slots are illegal while bingo is legal in many counties. In 2010, some 30 casinos were shut down after then-Gov. Bob Riley’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling determined the machines were slot machines, not electronic bingo.

Greenetrack was the first of the shuttered casinos to reopen with a new style of electronic bingo machines in March 2011. However, the gaming area closed in June when the machines were seized in a raid. The property reopened again in September after the search warrant used for the raid was declared invalid.

Location:
Greenetrack

 

Tribal gaming

There is one gaming tribe in Alabama and it operates three Class II casinos.

Poarch Band of Creek Indians --  Creek Casino Montgomery, Creek Casino Wetumpka and Wind Creek Casino and Hotel
 

 

Pari-mutuel facilities

There are four Greyhound racetracks in Alabama, but two (Greenetrack and Victoryland) no longer offer live racing.

Birmingham Race Course first opened as a horse track in 1987 called Birmingham Turf Club, but the track was in financial trouble from the outset. It failed to run a live meet in 1988 and resumed in 1989 under new management. But horse racing didn’t last long, ending in 1995 after management added Greyhound racing in 1992. Live Greyhound racing continues at the track.

Track locations:

Birmingham Race Course
1000 John Rogers Drive
Birmingham, AL 35210

Greenetrack (simulcasting only)
P.O. Box 471
Eutaw, AL 35462

Mobile Greyhound Park
I-10 West at Theodore Dawes
Theodore, AL 36590

Victoryland (simulcasting only)
P.O. Box 128
Shorter, AL 36075

Racing regulatory agencies:

Birmingham Racing Commission
1000 John Rogers Drive, Suite 102
Birmingham, AL 35203
Phone (205) 838-7470

Macon County Racing Commission (Victoryland)
P.O. Box 830724
Tuskegee, AL
Phone (334) 727-0121

Mobile County Racing Commission
P.O. Box 1886
Mobile, AL 36633
Phone (251) 653-4820

 

Charitable gaming

Bingo is legal in Alabama in a number of counties that have adopted a constitutional amendment authorizing bingo for charitable purposes to be conducted by the charity itself. The activity is generally overseen by the Sheriff of each county or the Chief of Police of each city. The following localities have approved bingo:

The counties of Calhoun, Covington, Etowah, Greene, Houston, Jefferson, Limestone, Lowndes, Macon, Madison, Montgomery, Mobile, Morgan, Russell, St. Clair and Walker; plus the City of Jasper.

 

Last updated on February 16, 2013