Georgia Could Finally Legalize Sports Betting

Georgia Could Finally Legalize Sports Betting

The next legislative session of Georgia could consider legalizing all forms of gambling in the state. Of these, sports betting may have the highest chance of approval.

Georgia could be weeks away from a legalized market

The 2021 legislative session in Georgia will have the question of the legalization of gambling back on the table. The legislators will discuss the legalization of horse racing, casinos, and sports betting, both together and separately. Sports betting has the maximum chances of getting legalized. This is because gambling requires a constitutional amendment while sports wagering could be approved via a simpler process. The next session is set to begin on January 11.

Georgia Could Finally Legalize Sports Betting

Casino gambling, as well as pari-mutuel betting on horse racing, requires a two-thirds majority in the House and the Senate. After this, the measure will go for a ballot vote as it requires a constitutional amendment. The support for both forms of gambling did not yield any results in the past few years.

Sports betting can be legalized more easily as it would require an amendment of a law that created the Georgia Lottery. A simple majority in both legislative chambers will be enough to approve the measure.

The state could get better revenues

The bill’s supporters are citing the example of states like Tennessee where the November sports betting handle was $131.4 million. In New Jersey, the sports betting handle for the entire year was $4.55 billion. Of these, bets worth $3.8 billion were placed online. Legalizing sports betting could help the state in plugging millions of dollars moving out via illegal channels. With legalization, punters will get a safe legal avenue to bet while the state will earn via taxes.

All 4 professional teams of the state- Atlanta United, Hawks, Falcons, and Braves, have come out in support of betting legalizations. Last year, they also formed an alliance to lobby for the effort. The teams are also eyeing sports betting as a new way to engage their fans when the live audiences is restricted. The teams also support the upcoming bill which allocates about 20% of the sports betting proceeds to the HOPE Scholarship program. The program earlier covered the full tuition costs of eligible high school students in the state. It was cut short in 2011.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.