Gov. Ivey forms group to study gambling policy for Alabama

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed an executive order Friday that forms a group to gather information aimed at making an informed decision on gaming expansion in Alabama.

The Study Group for Gambling Policy is made up of 12 people in the state, including two people from Huntsville.

Dozens of bills regarding expanded gaming or a lottery in the state have come up since the late 1990s, Ivey said, and her goal is for the new group to help lawmakers and citizens make an informed decision.

“Ultimately, I believe the final say belongs to the people of Alabama,” she said in a news release. “As their governor, I want them to be fully informed of all the facts so that, together, we can make the best decision possible.”

Dr. Deborah Barnhart, who recently stepped down as CEO of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, and Intuitive co-founder and CEO A.R. Almodóvar are the Huntsville representatives serving on the study group.

Other members include Walter Bell of Mobile, former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin of Mobile, former Alabama treasurer Young Boozer, Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran, Birmingham attorney Elizabeth Huntley, Carl Jamison of Tuscaloosa, former Alabama Supreme Court justice James Main of Montgomery, Auburn University journalism lecturer Phillip Rawls and Canterbury United Methodist Church Bishop B. Mike Watson of Birmingham.

The group’s final report is due to the governor by Dec. 31.

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