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The Edge Interviews Steve Bittenbender: Discusses Sports Betting in Georgia, Alabama and Missouri





Half of all SEC states do not have legal sports betting. On The Edge with Larry Henry, Group’s Steve Bittenbender predicts sports betting legislation could be approved during this year’s legislative sessions in Alabama and Georgia in part because of ‘more acceptance among some conservative’ lawmakers.

Sports betting then would require a public vote in Alabama and possibly Georgia. Bittenbender said those two states stand a good chance of legalizing sports betting. “Those are the two, I think, I’m most bullish on,” Bittenbender said of Alabama and Georgia.

In Missouri, ‘rancor’ in the state Senate means a sports betting bill probably won’t pass, Bittenbender said, but the state’s major sports leagues are circulating a petition among registered voters to let the public decide on the November ballot.

The pro sports teams aren’t waiting for the Legislature, Bittenbender said.


“They’ve been down that road before and they’ve seen how that story ends up,” he said. “The best chance that it’ll have is through this referendum process.”

On Alabama and Georgia:

“In Georgia, it passed the Senate and it’s now going over to the House. And in Alabama, it’s the other way around. It cleared the House first and now it’s going to the Senate. The Senate in Alabama; there’s going to be some opposition to it (sports betting legislation), some conservative opposition.

“But you’ve got Governor Ivey who’s a big supporter of this and I think that’s going to help tip the scales in gaming’s favor.

“And it’s not just sports betting in Alabama, it would give them a lottery. They’re one of five states that don’t have a state lottery so it would give them that. It would give them fully-fledged casinos. There’s a couple of tribal casinos in the state but now they would have, I think, seven Class 3 casinos across the state. And then you would also have sports betting as well.


“That kind of omnibus legislation, especially with the people that are supporting it, will help get that through in Alabama.

“Georgia is a similar situation but they’ve actually scaled it down. There had been talks in recent years about doing casino resort legislation but they’re just focused right now on doing sports betting, getting that through and maybe looking at other expanded gaming later on down the road.

“In Georgia the question is going to be whether or not it will need a constitutional amendment. There are proponents for it that cite a former Supreme Court judge from the state, who says: sports betting is a lottery game, the lottery is legal under the constitution, so you don’t need an amendment.

“Some people though are kind of concerned, they fear a legal challenge might happen. So, they want to see a referendum on it.

“If it requires a referendum, that would require essentially two votes in the legislature. One to pass the enacting legislation, which would need just a simple majority in both chambers. But a second one for a resolution calling for the referendum, that would require a two thirds majority in both chambers. That’s a little trickier.


“The way the vote came down in the Senate earlier this month, they had the votes for the two thirds majority in Georgia in the Senate, but I don’t know if they would have that in the House and that’s a key concern that needs to be addressed.”

On Missouri:

“I think it’s happening already (the sports betting petitions having success). The proponents have already started in St Louis, right around the time of the Cardinals FanFest event earlier this month.

“So, they’re not waiting for the legislature, they’ve been down that road before and they’ve seen how that story ends up. And with the way that there’s a lot of rancor right now in the Missouri Senate, not just about sports betting but a lot of things in between, there’s a real fracture between Republicans in that chamber and that’s stalling a lot of things.

“I’m not optimistic at all that a sports betting bill would pass the legislature even though there’s support for it in Jefferson City. The best chance that it’ll have is through this referendum process.”








Birmingham Race Course in Birmingham, Alabama and VictoryLand in Shorter, Alabama have signed a long-term totalisator services agreement for pari-mutuel wagering with AmTote International, a product of 1/ST TECHNOLOGY – horse racing’s largest and most innovative racing and gaming company, and the leading wagering technology company in the U.S.

This multi-year, totalisator services agreement sees Birmingham and VictoryLand migrate from their current totalisator provider to AmTote in April 2022, with the provisioning of 1/ST TECHNOLOGY AmTote products and services to these popular Alabama facilities.

The deal arms Birmingham and VictoryLand with a host of best-of-breed technologies and services, designed to enhance the betting experience for its customers. These include the underlying totalisator platform and accompanying race-day control services, retail POS betting terminals, self-service betting kiosks and mobile betting applications.


The wider initiative to continue improving existing products and develop new technologies aimed at digitizing the retail space is a key component of 1/ST TECHNOLOGY’s modus operandi. While a linked-up, customizable approach is now available for its partnering racetracks, thanks to services which also add the ability to leverage mobile betting via AmTote’s robust platform. Ultimately, through astute management and fast deployment, 1/ST TECHNOLOGY intends to secure the sustainability of high-class horse racing, breathing new life into a popular legacy sport for a sophisticated modern-day audience.

1/ST TECHNOLOGY’s world-class products – AmTote, Xpressbet, 1/ST BET, XB SELECT, XB NET, PariMAX and Betmix – are among the most trusted names in gaming, technology, and horse racing. AmTote technology and services host the majority of racetrack operators in North America and are currently in operation at Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park, Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Park, Aqueduct, and Woodbine, among many others, and process more than $18 billion in pari-mutuel and fixed-odds wagering around the world each year.

Keith Johnson, Chief Revenue Officer at 1/ST TECHNOLOGY, commented“We are thrilled to earn the business of Birmingham Race Course and VictoryLand as new AmTote totalisator customers, and are excited to work with their teams as they evolve their wagering paradigm and technology with us.  We look forward to continuing our relationship with Dr. Benefield and his team in Alabama for years to come.

“Our next-generation AmTote wagering platform will play a key role as 1/ST TECHNOLOGY continues to deliver against its mission to expand opportunities for innovation, new revenue opportunities, and diversification across 1/ST Group’s racing and gaming verticals.”

Dr. Lewis Benefield, CEO at Jefferson County Racing Association, Inc. and Macon County Greyhound Park, Inc., added“We are excited to begin this new relationship with 1/ST TECHNOLOGY and AmTote as we partner to modernize our operations at Birmingham Race Course and VictoryLand. Partnering with the leading wagering technology provider in racing and gaming will give our customer base a new exciting experience.”


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