MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -- The lottery issue is back on the table for state lawmakers. House Bill 418 filed this week by Rep. Steve Clouse (R-Ozark) has 70 cosponsors, including Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon.

The bill would include scratch-offs as well as real money-makers like Powerball and Mega-Millions. They're hoping to get it on the ballot in November to let voters decide.

Earlier this year -- Clouse talked up the annual earning potential of a state lottery.

"The fiscal office is estimating around $167-million but they feel like that may be a low-ball figure. They feel like based on surrounding states -- we should get into the $200-million dollar range," said Rep. Clouse.

With Mississippi adding gaming late last year -- Alabama is now one of now five states without a lottery. Public opinion has been supportive for the most part.

"I think Alabama should start a lottery. Why not keep that money here instead of going to another state," said one man.

State lawmakers certainly have a lot to consider: The Poarch Band of Creek Indians have also launched their "Winning For Alabama" campaign to gain exclusive gaming rights -- that would give the state an initial one billion dollars.

With the future of gaming and a potential lottery up in the air -- Governor Kay Ivey has tapped a group of 12 Alabamians -- including 3 locals -- to get the numbers and show what it could be worth to the state.

"Ultimately, my pledge would be for the people of Alabama to have the final say. But first, we must get the facts and understand what they mean," said Gov. Ivey, in her State of the State address.

The legislative session is scheduled to end May 18th. Meanwhile, Gov. Ivey has given the lottery study group until December 31st to report their findings.

All content © 2019, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.  

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