Gambling Laws In Alabama
Attempting to gamble legally in the United States is not a fool’s errand, despite what some may have you believe. While it is certainly made difficult by legislation that has passed through not only federal but state courts, a well-educated prospective gambler should be able place bets and wagers on sports, poker or even casino games with no interference from Alabama gambling laws.
While federal law that governs all U.S. citizens does have policies regarding gambling, none of them actually prevent otherwise honest citizens from actually placing bets. The only anti-gambling regulations that have ever passed through the government only relate to the facilitation of gambling, not the mere participation in it. Therefore, the federal government takes no umbrage with an otherwise honest citizen of the United States who merely wishes to place wagers.
From here, there are many states in the union who add their own regulations and restrictions to the framework established by federal law. The purpose of this page is to aid Alabama residents in finding ways to gamble that will be safe from legal interference. Aside from merely providing information about the law, it is our goal to help prospective gamblers find places to gamble that are not only safe from legal interference, but provide a high quality product as well.
The Legality of Gambling in Alabama
When it comes to Alabama gambling laws and the act of gambling and its legal status, there is some good news and some bad news. The bad news is, that in accordance with Alabama state law, the act of “simple gambling” which is defined in section 13A 12-20 subdivision 4 of the state’s constitution as when one “stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that he or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.” This is an encompassing definition of gambling which rules out casino games as well as poker.
Furthermore, Alabama legislation goes on to criminalize simple gambling in section 13A-12-21 of legislation, classifying it as a class C misdemeanor which may result in three months in jail and a fine of up to $500.
So, what could the good news possibly be? The good news is that this is not a crime that is prosecuted in Alabama. Even in recent news cases of illicit gambling rings busted by law enforcement agencies, those who were merely participating in the games walked away scot-free without even so much as a citation. The target of gambling legislation was at first and always has been large crime syndicates, never individuals who merely wanted to wager on a game of chance.
However, one should not take this to mean that all gambling offenses in the state of Alabama are nothing to worry about. Despite the relative safety of being a mere player in in the heart of Dixie, if one is ever guilty of “promoting gambling” they are not only sure to be prosecuted by whichever branch of the law that stumbles upon them, but they face much steeper penalties according to state legislation.
Section 13A-12-22 of Alabama code defines this crime as a class A misdemeanor. Guilty parties could face up to one year in jail as well as a $6,000 fine. It goes without saying that these penalties can be life altering, and therefore, we strongly recommend against any Alabama residents taking part in these actions.
Difference Between Simple Gambling & Promoting Gambling
Fortunately for interested gamblers scattered across Alabama, there is a great divide between simple gambling, which is a petty crime that will not be charged and the serious misdemeanor of promoting gambling.
Simply put, Alabama gambling laws if every citizen who is guilty of simple gambling wishes to place a bet, those who are guilty of promoting gambling are the ones who take that bet. Moreover, they must make a profit off of the gambling going on, whether for themselves or for a larger syndicate that employs them.
To be clear, making a profit from gambling promotion does not mean coming out ahead via betting and wagering. In order to be found guilty of promoting gambling, the offender must be in a position where they may make a profit even without betting or wagering. While there are a variety of ways to do this, the most popular are to either charge admission for the privilege to play in an illicit poker game or to collect a “rake,” which is a small percentage of each pot that goes to the house as profit. They may also operate traditional casino games as the “house,” who always has the best chance of winning, or they may operate a sportsbook.
To make profit off of a sportsbook, the guilty parties most usually collect all the money and assume responsibility themselves for paying out the winners, or, in more extreme and potentially violent cases, collecting from the loser. They may also take a small cut from each losing bet, most often referred to as “juice” or “vig.”
Just so long as an Alabama resident avoids these specific, gambling related actions, they should stay safe from any legal prosecution in the eyes of the law. Despite not technically allowing gambling in their state, Alabama is surprisingly lenient towards casual offenders.
Betting Laws In Alabama
Due to federal law, there are no sanctioned facilities within the state of Alabama that are able to offer legal sports betting. Moreover, considering the high likelihood of prosecution for operating a sportsbook in Alabama, there are no safe venues for land based sports betting.
Fortunately, through the use of legal online sportsbooks, many Alabama residents are able to bet on sports in a manner that guarantees their safety both from legal prosecution and the criminal element that is closely associated with illicit gambling.
In the state of Alabama, there are no sanctioned gambling facilities. There are, however, a couple of tribal casinos that are exempt from state regulation by federal law. However, in a disappointing turn, all the casinos may offer to residents of Alabama is electronic bingo.
As it turns out, this is not what most residents who want to gamble are looking for in their land based casinos. Luckily, there are several online venues that are legal for Alabama residents to gamble with that offer everything from slot machines to table games like Blackjack, roulette, or even craps. At least for the time being, if someone on Alabama wants to take part in any casino games, it’s going to have to be through a computer screen.
Due to the massive popularity of poker, many states write clauses into their laws that allow for sanctioned, stand-alone poker facilities. Unfortunately for avid poker fans, Alabama is not such a state. However, Alabama gambling laws will not regulate home games, just so long as no profit is made by the host.
In addition to preserving the sanctity of Friday night beers and cards, this leaves a window for playing legal poker for money online wide open. Since no resident will be prosecuted for merely participating in gambling, this means that through the use of legal online poker rooms, users may play as much poker for profit as they please.
Alabama Betting Ages: What's The Legal Age To Bet?
The purpose of this page is to outline while that gambling is in a complex area legally speaking, that it’s possible to partake with no risk of prosecution. If anyone chooses to try and do so before reaching the legal gambling age, they will find themselves in a bit of hot water. The legal age for pari-mutuel wagering in Alabama is 19, and it is highly recommended that anyone in the state with an interest in gambling wait until they are over the age of 19 to try and satisfy that craving.
Violators leave themselves open to penalties not only through the facility in which they gamble underage (be it at tribal bingo houses or online gambling networks) but penalties from their home state which can include steep legal fees and load of court ordered community service. Anyone who’s ever laughed about picking up trash on the side of the highway will surely not find it as funny with the Alabama sun beating them overhead.
Gambling Options For Alabama Residents
On-Land: For those who wish to gamble in land based environments, the options in Alabama are stark and restrictive. In the entire state, there are three tribal casinos which may serve the general public, but unfortunately, the only game they are able to offer is electronic bingo. Those looking for more from a land based casino have a road trip in their future. Neighboring Mississippi is home to one of the nation’s great gambling cities in Biloxi, but if one wishes to bet on sports in a land based facility, it’s an expensive flight to Nevada that they need. For a state with such mild penalties associated with gambling, it would be logical to think that there would be some legislation allowing for brick and mortar casinos in the state, but it is not the case under current law.
Online/Web-Based: Luckily for those in Alabama wasting away but for an opportunity to gamble, the internet is rife with tantalizing possibilities. Through legal gambling networks, residents have found a means to safely bet and wager real money in an environment with no risk of legal prosecution. We already know that in Alabama the act of betting and wagering is not going to be prosecuted for otherwise honest citizens. A careful reader may then be wondering how it’s possible for these websites to offer legal gambling for Alabama residents without facing penalties from not only the state of Alabama, but the federal government. The answer is simple. These legal gambling websites were established and are operated overseas, well outside of not only Alabama but federal jurisdiction.
By this virtue, they can offer legitimate sports betting sites, fully functioning casinos and poker rooms that feature not only hundreds of tournaments for guaranteed cash, but opportunities to win big by sitting in at the tables even just a little at a time. Furthermore, since these business are able to operate legitimately and within the law of their home countries, they are able to offer all the security that other businesses can. For example, a user never needs to worry about the money deposited in their account disappearing as these sites are just as secure as the likes of Amazon or eBay, and since all these sites come certified by reputable international gaming commissions, there is never a need to worry about unfair results or payouts when trusting these networks with hard earned money and business.
Trusted Gambling Sites For Alabama Players
Best AL Sports Gambling Site: Roll Tide & War Eagle!
In any business, there is one name that stands out over others. Adhesive strips are Band-Aids, searching on the internet is Googling, and so on. When it comes to gambling online both safely and legally, many would call that “Bovada-ing.” With this legal Alabama gambling network, hundreds of thousands of residents log on every day to take advantage of the premiere online sportsbook, complete casino featuring all manner of slots and table games or even the world class poker room. When you sign up with the most trusted name in online gambling in the U.S., you’ll never cease to be amazed at the laundry list of features you’ll have access to as a Bovada member.
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Other Highly Rated Alabama Betting Sites
How To Use AlabamaGamblingLaws.com
We here are AlabamaGamblingLaws.com are not lawyers and we don’t even play them on TV. We are merely passionate about both gambling and the law, and want to help others share our passions safely and legally. While we are confident the information on this page is accurate, it cannot be considered a legal consultation and therefore any further questions should be directed to a lawyer. Another option would be to use the web to pay the Alabama legislature a visit at www.legislature.state.al.us to see the exact language of all the statutes we mentioned early. Sometimes it takes reading the unfiltered language and comparing it to what is known in order to figure out what is safe, and where trouble may lie when not familiar with Alabama gambling laws.