Alabama House votes to allow fantasy sports betting

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The state House of Representatives has voted to allow fantasy sports betting in Alabama.

The bill passed 43-38 Tuesday after hours of debate about whether the wagering falls under the state’s anti-gambling laws.

Proponents said the fantasy contests were based on skill and knowledge of sports players. Critics argued the practice was no different than playing cards in a casino.

The measure would regulate fantasy sports contests and tax a portion of the operator’s profits for the state.

Much of the disagreement about the legislation revolved around a 2016 ruling from the Alabama attorney general that said online sports betting websites were illegal.

The bill now moves to the Senate for more debate.

“The world wide web is just open to everyone. I mean, you can be in Las Vegas and sitting right here in Montgomery, Alabama,” said Senate Minority Leader Quinton Ross. “I think it’s necessary to provide this extra layer of protection to those individuals who play fantasy football.”

While some republicans oppose the bill, others, like Sen. Cam Ward, have indicated that there is bipartisan support for the measure.

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