Lottery bill hits stumbling block in Senate

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Gov. Robert Bentley’s lottery bill hit a major stumbling block over the issue of electronic gaming.

Several Democrats, who previously voted for the bill, said Friday they wanted to allow, or at least keep the door open, to electronic gambling machines at state dog tracks.

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Senators on Friday will decide whether to go along with House changes to the bill or send the bill to conference committee.

Sen. Bobby Singleton is seeking to add language guaranteeing that tracks could get the same casino games if a governor ever negotiated a compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

Singleton also criticized a House amendment prohibiting electronic lottery terminals, saying that was limiting the state’s ability to make money.

Sen. Quinton Ross of Montgomery said the bill as written did not solve the state’s Medicaid program.

The disagreements could doom the bill just short of the legislative finish line. The governor needs to maintain a fragile 21-vote coalition in the Senate to get the bill approved.