Committee: State GovernmentSponsor: Marsh
Analyst: Jessica PerezDate: 05/04/2021

FISCAL NOTE

Senate Bill 311 as substituted would implement the provisions of the constitutional amendment proposed by Senate Bill 319 of the 2021 Regular Session. This bill requires the Legislature to appropriate startup funding from the State General Fund for the Alabama Regulatory Gambling Commission the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 fiscal years and requires the repayment of those funds from the commission by September 30, 2026.

This bill requires the Commission to be reimbursed for travel expenses and other reasonable expenses occurred in performance of their duties.

This bill further provides for the powers and duties of the Commissionís Enforcement Division, including qualifications of the director and assistant director of the division, training and certification requirements for its officers, and cooperation with other law enforcement agencies.

This bill would increase the obligations of the Alabama Peace Officersí Standards and Training Commission (APOSTC) by an undetermined amount to require APOSTC to develop initial and continuing education curriculum and certifications for the Commissionís Enforcement Division, in coordination with the commission and the Enforcement Division Director, by October 1, 2023.

This bill could increase the administrative obligations of the Office of the Attorney General, district attorneys, or prosecuting attorneys by requiring these entities to provide legal assistance at the request of the commission.

This bill also prohibits recipients of public assistance benefits from using any portion of their benefits for playing any form of gambling.

Further, this bill provides that the taxes on net gambling revenue imposed in the constitutional amendment proposed by Senate Bill 319 of the 2021 Regular Session shall be in lieu of all other state or local taxes, license fees, or franchise fees.

In addition, this bill also provides that the license fee shall be in lieu of all other state or local license fees or franchise fee, to include, licenses in providing hotel services, dining, other facilities, or services ancillary to gambling activities. However, the licensee is liable for all income taxes, property taxes, and lodging taxes, as well as sales and use taxes on food, beverages, and merchandise sold in the licensed facility.

Further, this bill requires any licensed casino operator or any holder of an online betting license to withhold a 5% tax on winnings in excess of $5,000 and at least 300 times larger than the amount wagered and would exempt those winnings from any state income taxes. This bill requires these withholding taxes be remitted to the Department of Revenue, and deposited into a separate fund in the State Treasury, as established by this bill, for the purpose of providing education and state employee retirees with a periodic bonus check.

In addition, this bill requires the Alabama Education Lottery Corporation to withhold a 5% tax on any lottery prize in excess of $600 and exempts those winnings from any state income taxes. This bill requires these withholding taxes be remitted to the Department of Revenue, deposited into the State Treasury, and distributed to the Alabama Forestry Commission to be used for rural and community fire protection.

Additionally, this bill would establish or amend various violations and criminal penalties related to unlawful gaming activity and prohibit certain campaign contributions and solicitations. This could increase receipts to the State General Fund from fines; increase receipts to the State General Fund, county general funds and other funds to which court costs are deposited; and could increase the obligations of the State General Fund, district attorneys, the Bureau of Pardons and Paroles, the Department of Corrections, and community correction programs by an undetermined amount dependent upon the number of persons charged with and convicted of the offenses provided by this bill and the penalties imposed.


Chris Pringle, Chair
State Government