DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Without a lottery in Alabama, potentially hundreds of millions of gambling dollars are leaving the state to go elsewhere.

“It’s a tremendous loss of revenue for the state of Alabama,” Alabama political journalist, Steve Flowers said. “Especially for those in bordering counties like Houston and other parts of the state that border.”

Now, in advance of when the Alabama legislature convenes January 11th for the 2022 session, some lawmakers are talking about proposing bills not just for a lottery, but also for sports betting regulations and expanding casino gambling as well.

A poll conducted in 2020 says around 71 percent of Alabamians are for the gambling bill, even if that isn’t something they would partake in personally.

“Personally, I don’t like to gamble, but I think the option being available to the citizens isn’t a terrible idea,” wiregrass citizen Rowe McMahen said.

“I really don’t have a problem with it,” Wiregrass citizen James Holley said. “I don’t gamble much, occasionally buy a lottery ticket. But I don’t make a special trip. So I really don’t have a problem with it.”

Governor Ivey had a study done to see how much money Alabama was losing to the lottery in other states.

It is estimated there are 500 to 700 million dollars of revenue lost to states with lotteries in place.

According to Center Square, the Georgia Lottery collected $1.23 billion in 2020.

A portion of this coming from Alabama spenders crossing the state line — money the state of Alabama is losing out on.

“I have noticed states like Georgia and Florida use their state lotto to help fund in-state citizens to go to public universities,” McMahen said. “And I think that’s a very good thing for the communities and the states.”

“I think it needs to be passed one hundred percent,” wiregrass citizen Foy Holmes said. “All they do is raise taxes for income. Why don’t we do something to bring money in.”