14 March 2021 Posted By : Dale Jackson

State Sen. Del Marsh busts on gambling, thinks lottery might have a small chance

When this legislative session started in Montgomery, insiders told you there was a real chance for a comprehensive gambling bill to clear both chambers and get to a vote of the people.

State Senator Del Marsh (R-Anniston) announced he was giving up leadership of the State Senate and would carry the bill to accomplish this task through the legislative bodies.

It appeared to start out with a lot of support. He met with current players in the industry — both those that are questionably legal (electronic bingo operators) and those who have fought and beat the federal government to get their status (the Poarch Band of Creek Indians).

He brought his idea to the table and then … nothing. He delayed his vote a few weeks, and then he crapped out.

Did he hit on 20, or did he draw a Jack on 12?

Depends on who you ask.

During a Wednesday interview on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show” in Huntsville, Marsh implied he had the votes to get the bill passed weeks ago and said he should have gone all in.

He seems pretty unhappy about it, and he should be as he noted that he worked on “this thing” for nine months.

Marsh seems to accept that this is over, but he left the door open to work on it a bit more if his fellow legislators will play ball.

“I’m not going down that path if I don’t get some honest brokers working with me as I go forward,” he said.

Barring something big, casino gambling and sports betting is dead.

He lost both hands at the Pai Gow table.

But Marsh doesn’t seem ready to return to his room with comped tickets to the Yakox Smirnoff show in his pocket.

Marsh is ready to hit that ATM that charges a $15 withdrawal fee and see if he can place a bet on the lottery that might still hit.

After Marsh got cleaned out, State Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville) introduced a simple lottery bill that might be almost identical to the one that passed the Alabama Senate in the past. But it failed in the House, and not much has changed there.

Marsh says he supports that bill and will work to get it passed.

“I told Jim, I said, ‘Jim, if this is not successful, I will get your bill out of committee,’ and I will,” Marsh advised. “Now, will it pass? I have my doubts, but I will do my part as committee chair to do all I can to get it out of committee.”

Can it succeed? Maybe. But all six numbers have to hit, and in the past, Alabama hasn’t been very lucky with that game.

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