The House sponsor of an Alabama casino bill has asked for lawmakers to find a suitable ‘middle ground’ following disagreements on the legislation.

On Thursday, the House of Representatives and the Senate were unable to agree on details surrounding a bill to expand sports betting and casinos in Alabama.

The Associated Press reported the House rejected changes made by the Senate which would scale back initial plans for gaming expansion in the state.

At first, the House of Representatives passed a bill permitting lottery, sports betting and up to ten casinos with table games.

But revisions in the Senate called for the removal of both sports betting and the establishment of casinos away from tribal lands. These amendments were soundly rejected by the House.

Divisive Alabama Casino Bill Requires Cooperation

Discussing the bill, House sponsor Rep. Chris Blackshear said: “I think we’ve got to identify what that middle ground is first because it’s such a distance between the two. They’re not even close bookends.

“So we’ve got to first off establish what that middle ground looks like and then have those conversations.”

In 2018, the Supreme Court ruling decreed that states now have the authority to dictate their own gambling laws.

The majority of states have legalized sports betting in some form or another, with it now legal in 38 states. Each state’s laws differ, with many caveats and limits in some states.

Alabama is one of 12 states which have not yet legalized sports betting. Calls for changes in the law come after many states have enjoyed significant income from taxing gambling practices.

But stiff opposition to any legislation comes from religious groups and conservatives concerned about the risk of problem gambling.

The Alabama Baptist State Convention is staunchly opposed to legalized sports betting, for example.

Others take a more liberal view, though. Some argue that God gave man free will, so there is no Christian reason to prohibit legal and responsible gambling practices.

With Alabama’s legislative session running until mid-May, supporters or the Alabama casino bill are not hopeful the bill will pass on this occasion.