Overview of Alabama Casinos and Gambling Laws
Alabama is a conservative state, in the “Bible Belt” of the US and therefore most forms of gambling according to law can be construed as illegal (albeit the strict legality can be very confusing). In this state the law defines gambling as any game for financial gain with an element of chance. Games that require skills such as poker, are still considered as a game with an element of chance and therefore deemed illegal.
However, in 2018 there is change in the air, and the Supreme Court has ruled that it has the power to rule sports betting legal in any stated that it wanted. There is also a shift in attitudes. A conservative state with a majority of Christian voters, the strong high moral beliefs are slowly turning to a more liberal view and politicians from the two major parties are starting to recognize this. In the past, the debate regarding whether to legalize gambling was overwhelming won by the conservatives.
No politician would have run on any platform that supported legalized gambling, let alone raise it, if they seriously wanted a chance of succeeding in office. This is all changing as Alabama drifts more to secularization, a recognition that the states is losing money in taxes to neighboring states when their residents hop over to play a few games, and that it has been argued that residents are playing illegally anyways in the state.
Alabama's Gambling Laws Interpreted by a LawyerAlabama is one of the worst states for individuals interested in gambling. Online gambling in Alabama is, as of now, unregulated though legislation (HB 315) has been proposed to create an Alabama Sports Wagering Commission to oversee sports betting on pro and college sports in the state. Inside the state of Alabama, gambling options are limited to charitable gambling and pari-mutuel wagering on raffles and bingo games and limited Class II casino gaming.
Sports Betting: Due to the unregulated nature of online gambling in the state, individuals wishing to participate in online sports betting and who are at least eighteen years old can expect to safely place bets online through licensed and regulated offshore platforms.
Race Betting: Like in many states, online horse and dog race betting is semi-legal in Alabama at its racing tracks and other venues that allow simulcast pari-mutuel betting pursuant to AL Code § 11-65-1 et seq.; AL Code § 13A-12-31. Currently only TwinSpires operates in the state for online race betting.
Online Poker & Gaming: Domestic casinos are prohibited from offering poker, roulette, and blackjack games, and individuals who participate in such games facing Class C misdemeanor charges pursuant to AL Code § 13A-12-21. See also Garrett v. State, 963 So. 2d 700 (2007)(wherein the Alabama Criminal Appeals Court confirmed that Texas Hold’Em is fundamentally a game of chance dependent on the draw of cards). However, no similar laws exist for the online sphere, as of yet. As a result, players who wish to participate in online poker and other forms of gaming can expect to do so safely through a variety of licensed and regulated offshore platforms that accept Alabama-based players.
Disclaimer: The information in this multi-state research is made available by a licensed, U.S. attorney, and is for informational purposes only. We make no representations that the information is complete or correct in its entirety. It should not be construed as providing specific legal advice, and you acknowledge that no attorney/client relationship exists between us. This brief should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed gambling and entertainment lawyer in your state.
Top 3 Alabama Online Casinos
There are three main casinos in Alabama, which operate in different cities, and all slightly different to each other offering a variety of gambling experience. There are also several racinos with greyhound/horse racing and bingo options available as well.
Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Montgomery
A Native American casino with over 2,300 slot machines, electronic bingo, a few electronic blackjack machines, and 1 video poker machine. The B B King restaurant is extremely popular and is busy during peak times. Considered the most like a traditional casino of all the casinos in Alabama.
Promotions are held regularly and they have a great rewards program for regular players. They have a great welcoming package for new players which gives you $10 food credit and free play credit reimbursement for any losses from $75 – $1,000 during your first 24 hours of play!
They also go the extra mile by providing some great video material in a series called “Ask the Experts” where they answer any gambling related question.
Wind Creek Atmore Casino & Hotel
303 Poarch Rd, Atmore, AL 36502
This Native American casino is arguably the second most popular gambling venue in Alabama. Offers over 1,500 slot gaming machines but (as with all gambling in Alabama) there are no tables.
Live concerts and performances differentiate this casino from many of the others in Alabama, and the food quality and dining experience is top quality.
Part of the Wind Creek brand, this casino offers the same generous rewards program found at Wind Creek Casino & Hotal Montgomery.
Wind Creek Wetumpka Casino & Hotel
100 River Oaks Dr, Wetumpka, AL 36092
The third and last tribal casino in Alabama, this Native American casino offers plenty of slot machines, bingo and e-bingo but alas no table games.
With live performances on the weekend and free giveaways during the weekdays it makes a very popular venue for locals and visitors of the like. There are 3 major restaurants to choose from with the buffet only $20 dollars.
Lots of fun and entertainment!
Mobile Greyhound Park
7101 Old Pascagoula Rd, Theodore
A Native American greyhound and horse simulcaster which has been recently purchased by Wind Creek Casino.
No live betting, but rather an offsite betting facilitator with regular casting on every day of the week.
Food is mostly burgers and hotdogs and you must be over 18 to be able to enter. A real down to earth, simple and fun place to hang out.
Greenetrack Bingo & Racing
524 Co Rd 208, Eutaw
Boasting over 400 slot machines, Greenetrack provides variety by offering live bingo (paper and electronic) with simulcast greyhound and horse racing. There are over 300 electronic bingo machines 24/7 with community prizes on offer.
Racing of broadcast from over 40 different racetracks across the USA and live betting is allowed. If you love greyhound racing then this is one of the best races to go to!
They also run regular promotions although their website could do with an update as their event calendar seems to always be empty.
Birmingham Race Course
1000 John Rogers Dr, Birmingham
A live and simulcast greyhound racetrack that can be considered a little rough and rowdy, not ideal for family but great if you going out with a bunch of friends.
Other entertainment include:
- Billiards and Darts – With regular tournaments every Saturday night
- Driving Range
You can also get up close and personal with the doggies with their greyhound adoption program.
8680 County Road 40, Shorter
A relatively small casino that offers simulcast race betting but no table games and no live racing. Due to the small size, the venue can become quite smokey and the variety of food and beverages is quite limited.
Now open 24/7, if you’re in the area it’s worth dropping by but there are definitely better alternatives.
Green Charity Bingo Eutaw
1055 Co Rd 208, Eutaw
Offers over 300 bingo machines operating 24/7. Also offers paper bingo, must be over 18 to play bingo. Drop into the Green Charity for a relaxed gaming experience.
Although Alabama is one of the most conservative states in the US, it still offers some gaming experience for bingo, slots and greyhound and horse betting.
It is highly unlikely that you will be caught, fined and convicted of a felony, as it has not happened in the past. Unfortunately, gaming tables are not allowed, as well as sports betting. But change is in the air.
Are casinos illegal in Alabama?
If it is strictly speaking illegal, will I be caught for gambling in Alabama?
Having said that, the gambling venues that are on offer in this state are commonly accepted as being allowed in Alabama, and there is no precedence of anyone being fined, convicted or penalized. There is also a significant change in the attitude of the majority in Alabama and the state is becoming more secular in the US. It would be highly dividing and detrimental in the political landscape to penalize voters with a strengthening of anti-gambling laws.
How old do you have to be to get into a casino in Alabama?
The minimum legal age required to be allowed in a casino is 18
Do Alabama Casinos have table games?
No. Since all casinos in Alabama are only licensed to offer class 2 machines, table games are not legal. Read our article on class 2 vs class 3 for more information.
Wikipedia: List of Casinos in Alabama
The New York Times: Alabama’s Longtime Hostility to Gambling Shows Signs of Fading