The new Grand Deal law on gambling in Alabama will support an addictive and troubling pastime for its users, according to some UAB students, but other students said it would provide great benefits for the state.
“I can see it being more of a negative thing,” said Kaleigh Roach, a UAB graduate student majoring in data science.
State representatives over the past several months have been negotiating this “Grand Deal” which will allow for a statewide lottery, casino gambling, sports wagering and scratch tickets, according to the Alabama Political Reporter. The proposed deal plans to set up five casinos in the state and allow operations at three casinos already built. It’s expected to have 19,000 new jobs and $700 million earned in casino revenue, according to AL.com.
Construction locations include Mobile, Birmingham, Madison County, Greene County and one in either Jackson or Dekalb County.
“I think it’s an addictive behavior, and that they don’t necessarily understand where their money is going,” Roach said. “When you buy a lottery ticket you never see what the money is used for.”
Roach said gambling exploits vulnerable people by being an addictive action. Other students, including Reece Bamberg, a sophomore majoring in kinesiology, said gambling could be a dangerous habit for the people of Alabama.
“I personally don’t like to gamble, it goes against my beliefs,” Bamberg said. “I think it can have a negative impact because it could become an addiction, so it could cause families to become impoverished if there is a gambling addict in their family.”
Cele Moon, a senior majoring in biomedical sciences, said she sees potential for the bill and looks to other states for comparison. She said there is hope it will improve the wellbeing of the state.
“It’s hard to determine the impact on the state without seeing the results,” said Moon. “We can only make assumptions based on other states that allow it. I think it’ll provide benefits for Alabama overall, though.”
Moon also said she would join in the legal gambling allowed by the bill.
“I would most likely participate not necessarily for my chances of winning,” Moon said, “but because I know it’s going to bring in more money for my state.”
Gracie Sears, a freshman majoring in international studies, said she thinks the law will be effective in providing new jobs and raising money for Alabama.
“I think it could potentially have a positive impact on the state and will bring up more jobs,” said Sears.
Some students are all in favor of the bill, seeing it’s benefits and opportunities. Britney Johnson, a junior majoring in kinesiology, said she fully supports the law because she lives in a state where a similar one has succeeded.
“Lottery tickets and scratch tickets are fun ways of entertainment that people can take part in,” said Johnson.
Ramsey Morris, a sophomore majoring in communication studies, said this prospective law is intriguing since she has never experienced gambling before. Morris said she has lived in Alabama her whole life and has never encountered scratch ticket machines or lottery tickets.
“I’d definitely participate in gambling with my friends. I believe it can be fun if done in moderation,” said Morris.