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Georgia Sports Betting Comes to a Halt
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Georgia Sports Betting Comes to a Halt

by Asa AgnoliApril 7, 2021

Georgia Sports Betting: Sadly for Georgia residents, legal sports betting was not approved this year in their home state. The state House of Representatives adjourned early on Thursday without voting on a pair of Senate bills that would have started the process to bring sports betting to Georgia.

The legislature could consider sports betting again when they come together again in January 2022. An amendment to allow sports betting in Georgia was approved by Senate and then another bill passed by the Senate outlined how legal betting would’ve worked in the state.

A modified version of both bills cleared the House rules committee only to be recommitted after the support that was needed to pass was never found. The amendment passed the Senate 41-10 which was three more votes than the two-thirds needed in that body.

All of Georgia’s professional sports teams back the push to bring sports betting to the state. There was much support in the house earlier in the session but it eventually became the casualty of the bitter partisan divide over a new state voter ID law.

What’s Next?

Sports betting will have to wait till the 2022 legislative session. If an amendment could get on the ballot in November betting could possibly begin as early as January 1, 2023.

The 2022 Election Day ballot will be filled in Georgia, as the governor’s race, one U.S. Senate seat, and all the U.S. House seats will be obtainable.

The proposal approved by the Senate said the process to create a sports betting infrastructure in Georgia would have included at least six sportsbooks that would have been underway prior to the actual vote on the gambling constitutional amendment.

There are differences between the gambling bill in the Senate and the one the was stopped in the House. The biggest difference was that the House did not allow gambling on any college sports.

The Senate approved bill only prohibited gambling on college sports that involved schools from Georgia. The House bill included only online betting while the Senate bill allowed for onsite betting areas at various venues.

Under the bill that was discussed in the House, it stated that 20 percent of the net revenues would go to the state and under the Senate bill, it stated that it would be 16 percent.

Georgia Lottery

The Senate bill stated that sports betting in Georgia would have to be regulated and managed by the Georgia Lottery Corporation.

The sportsbook would have to pay a non-refundable application fee and yearly licensing fees and the tax on revenue. Only users 21 and older would be allowed to bet.

Advocators for legal sports betting in Georgia have said many times how over 2 million people take part in illegal and offshore gambling in Georgia.

They argue that sports betting exists in Georgia and that the state is missing out on the revenue taxation could create.

The bills approved by the Senate were SB 142 which talked about how sports betting would operate in Georgia and SR 135 which allowed for a statewide referendum on sports betting in November 2022

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About The Author
Asa Agnoli