News top

POSITION: News top > News >
Georgia Gets Close to Sports Betting Legalization Through New Bill
Updated:2024-04-17 17:25    Views:102

Georgia is on its way to approving another sports gambling bill in order to finally legalize betting in the state. Once approved, the bill will lead to issuing a license to the Georgia Lottery Corporation.

Senate Bill 386 and the next steps:

Senate Bill 386, which might be leading to issuing 16 sports betting licenses in Georgia, was advanced by the Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee, and now it’s time for the next steps. However, the final outcome is still unknown, since last year all efforts were unsuccessful.

Nick Fernandez, one of the supporters of betting legalization and part of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, believes that the bill will bring sports betting to Georgia.

After both chambers approve the bill, Governor Brian Kemp will have to sign it. If a constitutional amendment is pursued, two-thirds of the members of the House and Senate will have to agree upon it, which would be followed by a statewide referendum.

Some of the Democrats support the cause, but they backed down in previous pursuits. Republican Senator Clint Dixon of Buford supports the cause because the funds would be used to support the education of youth.

History of betting legalization in Georgia:

Before this bill, another one about a constitutional amendment passed. However, no further action has been taken after that. Last year, senators disapproved of the legalization of sports betting and horse racing without a constitutional amendment, and the amendment didn’t get enough votes in order to pass.

If the bill passes this time, the state will be earning 20% of the revenue the operators earn through taxes.

Among the future licensees is the Georgia Lottery, and other eight licenses would be granted to the state’s pro sports interests, such as MLB’s Atlanta Braves, the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Hawks from NBA, WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, and Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United. Also, NASCAR’s Atlanta Motor Speedway and golf’s Augusta National and PGA will be licensed if betting is approved in Georgia.

The main duty of the state’s lottery will be to determine who deserves seven other licenses. They won’t necessarily be required to be pro sports teams, but the requirements will include an application fee of $100.000 as well as an annual license fee, which will be $1 million.

The main argument of the supporters of the bill are potential economic benefits for the state. However, the opponents claim that a potential addiction is a bigger problem and that people will always lose their money on betting.

As Associated Press reports, Mike Griffin, a lobbyist of the state’s Southern Baptist churches, said: “Gambling is basically legalized fraud. Gambling is gambling. You can’t win. The industry can’t lose.”