All in One Guide to Gambling In Alabama

Alabama, also known as the Yellowhammer state, Heart of Dixie and the Cotton State, is the 24th most populous state in the U.S.

Alabama is one of the Bible Belt states, which explain some of their harsh gambling laws. Along with outlawing casinos, except for Native American ones, they don't have a state lottery and they even prohibit bingo unless it's used for charity.

As plainly as the law seems on gambling in Alabama, the online gambling laws are unclear.

But what are your gambling options in the meantime?

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Online Gambling and Alabama Law

Is Online Gambling Legal in Alabama?

There's no written law about online gambling in Alabama. It's a gray area for Alabama residents because the existing laws about gambling can be applied to online gambling as well, but it has never been done.

Online gambling is a popular option for people living in Alabama because they can play blackjack, poker and other games for profit considering it's prohibited in the state of Alabama.

Can I get arrested for gambling online in Alabama?

Alabama doesn't regulate online gambling as of right now, so getting arrested for it would be very unlikely.

You do have to keep in mind though, that the laws can be applied to you even if you're gambling at an online casino from a different state.

Here's an excerpt from Section 13A-12-20 of their criminal code that explains what a gambling device is:

"Any device, machine, paraphernalia or equipment that is normally used or usable in the playing phases of any gambling activity, whether that activity consists of gambling between persons or gambling by a person involving the playing of a machine."

This passage could technically be applied to a computer, but again, as of today, no one has been arrested for online gaming in Alabama.

More Gambling Laws in Alabama


  • Casino Games (Not Legal)
  • Sports Betting (Legal with restrictions)
  • Poker (Not Legal)
  • Racing Betting (Legal)
  • Lottery (Not Legal)
  • Bingo (Legal with restrictions)
  • Charitable Gaming (Legal with restrictions)
  • Social Gambling (Legal with restrictions)

Few types of gambling are available in Alabama, and they all have strict regulations they must follow. One of which is about electric bells.

Section 13A-12-50 of the Commercial Law and Consumer Protection says:

"the person or persons that maintain or use any electric bells, wires or signals or any elevators or dumbwaiters or other implements or appliances connected with any gaming place or rooms used for gaming, which may be used for the purpose of communicating with the occupants of such gaming house or rooms used for gaming or with those who may be within are guilty"

People who are found guilty of owning an electric bell or other similar possessions are guilty of a felony, and can be sent to prison for 1-5 years.

Casino Games: Not Legal


Casino games including roulette, craps, poker, slot machines and more are prohibited in Alabama. Simple Gambling, which is knowingly profiting from unlawful gambling activities, is a Class C misdemeanor.

If a person is found with a gambling device, it's a Class A misdemeanor that can land you up to a year in jail along with a $6,000 fine.

The only exception to this law is the 3 casinos ran by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

Sports Betting: Legal with restrictions


Alabama doesn't have any laws that prohibit placing bets on sporting events, although it is illegal to be a bookmaker in Alabama. Therefore, all sports betting in Alabama must be done online.

Having bookmaking records or gambling records is a Class A misdemeanor.

Racing Betting: Legal


Horse racing is legal in Alabama in cities that have more than 300,000 inhabitants and have voted to allow it. There are currently no horse racing tracks in the state, and most Alabama cities are not large enough to qualify for horse racing.

Dog racing is also legal in Alabama in cities that have more than 300,000 inhabitants, and there are currently 2 dog racing tracks in Birmingham and Mobile. At these tracks, Pari-Mutuel gaming is approved by the state.

Lottery: Not Legal


Alabama state lottery is currently illegal, but attempts to legalize it are still being made.

Bingo: Legal with restrictions


Bingo in Alabama is legal as a charitable game only. 100% of the money must go to the charity, except for a few exceptions connected to expenses. There are currently about 30 bingo halls in Alabama.

Social Gambling: Legal with restrictions


Social gambling that doesn't profit the players or host is legal.

Bona fide coin-operated amusement machines like the ones found in arcades today are allowed, but even those have strict laws.

According to Section 13A-12-76:

"a coin-operated game or device designed and manufactured for bona fide amusement purposes which, by application of some skill, only entitles the player to replay the game or device at no additional cost if a single play of the bona fide coin-operated amusement machine or device can reach no more than 25 free replays or can be discharged of accumulated free replay, or rewards the player exclusively with merchandise limited to noncash merchandise, prizes, toys, gift certificates, or novelties, each of which has a wholesale value of not more than five dollars ($5)."

The grand prize of a TV or XBOX found in some other states arcades won't be found in Alabama. You'll be lucky to find a decent stuffed animal since nothing can have a wholesale value of over $5.

Billiard room laws, according to Section 34-6-12 of the Commercial Law and Consumer Protection, are as follows:

"Gambling and sale of liquor in billiard room prohibited. No dice, cards, dominoes or other games of chance shall be permitted, nor any form of gambling allowed in any billiard room, or in any room in which billiard tables are located, or in any cigar store or other business located in the same room; and no game prohibited by law shall be played in such premises, and it is expressly provided that such games as are now known as Kelly pool, keno, star pool, scrub and similar gambling devices are expressly prohibited, and that no racing or other betting pool shall be exhibited, permitted or sold in such place of business, and that no intoxicating liquors shall be sold, served or allowed to be used in or on the premises."

According to the same section of 34-6-12 regarding billiard rooms, if you live in one of the few counties in Alabama that have more than 56,500 people, but less than 59,000 people, dominoes can be played.

Gambling Venues in Alabama

Wind Creek Atmore

303 Poarch Rd.

Atmore, AL 36502

Wind Creek Wetumpka

100 River Oaks Drive

Wetumpka, AL 36092

Wind Creek Montgomery

1801 Eddie L. Tullis RD.

Montgomery, AL 36117

Wind Creek Atmore
1. Wind Creek Atmore
Casino

The Wind Creek Atmore has a 57,000 sq ft gaming floor with more than 1,600 games. Popular games include:

  • So Hot
  • Wild Wild Gems
  • Double Dollars Strike
  • Triple Stars
  • Double Diamond Strike
  • Triple Red Hot 7s
  • Egyptian Goddess
  • Wild and Free
Amenities

Dining options include:

  • Fire Steakhouse
  • Taste Buffet
  • Grill
  • Grill Express
  • B.B. King's
  • Yo Joe

Entertainment options include:

  • Live music
  • Cinema
  • Bowling
  • Arcade
  • Golf
Resort Options

Resort options include:

  • A spa
  • Culinary classes
  • An RV park
Location
Wind Creek Atmore
(866) 946-3360
303 Poarch Rd.
Atmore, AL 36502
Wind Creek Wetumpka
2. Wind Creek Wetumpka
Casino

The Wind Creek Wetumpka has an 80,000 sq ft gaming floor with more than 2,500 games. Popular games include:

  • Monkey in the Bank
  • Quick Hit
  • So Hot
  • Star of Phoenix
Amenities

Dining options include:

  • Fire Steakhouse
  • Buffet
  • Grill
  • Grill To Go
  • Chilly Bean
Location
Wind Creek Wetumpka
(866) 946-3360
100 River Oaks Drive
Wetumpka, AL 36092
Wind Creek Montgomery
3. Wind Creek Montgomery
Casino

The Wind Creek Montgomery has a 65,000 sq ft gaming floor with more than 2,200 games. Popular games include:

  • Conga Party
  • Geckos Gone Wild
  • Monkey in the Bank
  • Quick Hit
  • So Hot
Amenities

Dining options include:

  • B.B. King's Blues Club
  • Itta Bena
  • Lucille's Eatery

Entertainment options include:

  • B.B. King's Blues Club
Resort Options

Resort options include:

  • A Salon and Barber Shop
Location
Wind Creek Montgomery
(866) 946-3360
1801 Eddie L. Tullis RD.
Montgomery, AL 36117

History of Gambling in Alabama

Timeline Header Image
Alabama Law Book

All gambling was made prohibited by the Constitution of the State of Alabama.

1901


Woman Playing Bingo In Alabama

Charitable bingo was ruled legal in Jefferson County with an amendment to the state constitution. Under this law, a charitable bingo operation can't give more than $7,500 dollars worth of prize money a week and the rest of the money must go to the charity, with the exception of some expenses. The operations could only be open for 2 sessions a week lasting no longer than 5 hours each

1980

Native American owned land in Alabama could hold casinos according to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

1988



Governor Don Siegelman promised a state lottery to his voters during his campaign but failed to deliver.

1998


Greenetrack Greyhound Racing and Bingo in Green County Alabama

In Green County, tax liens are filed against Greenetrack for $72 million. The amount is for unpaid taxes connected to bingo and the lawsuit says the machines are rigged, which caused this unpaid amount.

2009

Pari-Mutuel wagering for dog and horse racing was legalized by the Alabama Supreme Court. They legalized these races because the outcome depends on the animals' skill level and not chance or luck.

4 dog racing tracks opened shortly after it was legalized in Mobile, Birmingham, Shorter, and Eutaw. Today there are only 2 tracks open.

Pari-Mutuel is defined as a form of betting in which those backing the first three places divides the losers' stakes.

1971
Birmingham Horse Racing Track

the horse racing track, Birmingham Race Course was approved. There is currently no horse racing tracks in Alabama today.

1984

The Jobs for Alabamians Coalition was established by the mayors of Mobile, Birmingham, Tuskegee, and the owner of a dog track, Milton McGregor. The Jobs for Alabamians Coalition was put together to get a constitutional amendment to allow a state-regulated lottery to take place in the 4 dog tracks that were currently open at the time.

1993

An amendment to the state constitution allowed electronic bingo devices to be placed at the Macon County's Victory Land racetrack. Since this ruling, the racetrack has been raided and shut downin 2010 and reopened in 2012. It was then closed and reopened again in 2013.

2003

A lawsuit is filed in an attempt to close the 3 casinos that are run by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians but it fails and the 3 casinos are still open today.

2013

Additional Resources

  • This link has information on:

    • Gaming and wagering
    • Gambling offenses
    • Advance gambling activity
    • Bookmaking
    • Lottery
    • Promoting gambling and more

Alabama Gambling Future

The future of Alabama gaming looks bleak.

While horse and dog tracks are permitted, few cities in Alabama have enough residents to qualify. On top of that, many people have lost interest in this type of gambling.

The lottery is one gambling subject that has been debated back and forth in Alabama for a while. While a state lottery could mean a big boost to the state treasury, the government holds firm that they won't permit it.

The three Indian casinos in the state are currently only housing bingo-type games, and there have been attempts to shut the doors on these casinos.

It's possible that gambling as a whole is on its way out the door in Alabama. But with gray area online gambling laws, it's still possible to play your favorite casino games, place sports or race bets and play bingo-styled games for a profit.