New Georgia Sports Betting Bill Presented
A new Georgia sports betting bill was proposed in Georgia at the beginning of the 2021 legislative session. The sense around Georgia is that this bill could be the one that passes in the state.
Sports betting in Georgia hasn’t had much luck in the legislature since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was overturned in 2018. Georgia legislators have made attempts to legalize sports betting throughout the state since 2018. However, all the proposed legislation in the state government has failed thus far.
Failed Attempts in Georgia
Bettors in Georgia have had their sports betting hopes destroyed multiple times since PASPA was overturned. Last summer, a sports betting bill made it through the Georgia Senate Special Judiciary Committee, but it stalled shortly after the committee’s approval.
The industry believed that this was going to be the bill that brought sports betting to the state, so people are cautiously optimistic about the 2021 bill.
Governor Brian Kemp hasn’t been in favor of Georgia sports betting since 2018. He has the ability to veto any sports betting bill that comes across his desk.
For a sports betting bill to pass in Georgia, it must benefit the state. If it doesn’t please Governor Kemp, the bill runs the risk of being denied.
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The Latest Georgia Sports Betting Bill
The latest Georgia sports betting bill was proposed in the House of Representatives on Jan. 14. HB 36, which is known as the Georgia Lottery Mobile Sports Wagering Integrity Act, was drafted by three Democrats. The primary sponsor of the bill is Representative Ron Stephens.
The bill is 37 pages long, and it called for six online sportsbooks with remote registration. The Georgia Lottery would be the governing body for the state’s sports betting system.
Sportsbooks gross revenue would be taxed at 16%, which is very fair. It would cost sportsbooks $50,000 to apply to operate in the state of Georgia. The annual fee for sportsbooks would be $900,000 under HB 36.
It doesn’t appear that college sports or horse race betting will be allowed in Georgia. This will disappoint state bettors because Georgia is loaded with Division I colleges. However, Georgia has three major professional sports teams in three different leagues, so local bettors will have plenty of hometown action to wager.
Future of Georgia Sports Betting
Georgia has the potential of having a massive sports betting market. The south has been slow to legalize sports betting, so Georgia would be a regional gambling leader.
Tennessee, which borders the state of Georgia, has implemented the form of gambling.
Tennessee’s initial sports betting handle in the first month of operation was $131.4 million. The state took $2.4 million in taxes off the gross-adjusted revenue.
Georgia would look like Tennessee when the state legalizes sports betting. Tennessee has an all-mobile market, and the same would most likely apply to Georgia because the state has no land-locked casinos.
HB 36 designates the legal sports betting tax revenue in Georgia to go towards the state’s educational system. The HOPE Scholarship Fund and pre-K programs around the state would receive the tax dollars according to the bill.
Georgia’s 2021 legislative system runs until April 2. If the bill is passed during this session, sports betting should launch at some point this summer.