- Georgia lawmakers are now considering an amendment to the constitution to legalize sports betting.
- A legal sports wagering industry in the Peach State projects anywhere from $25-$50 million a year seen in revenue.
- Should SR 135 pass in the Georgia General Assembly, residents in the state will be able to vote on the legalization of sports gaming in November 2022.
ATLANTA – There are multiple Georgia sports betting bills that would make gaming on sports legal but as of Thursday, it is being said that all proposals outside of one calling for a constitutional amendment will not be moving forward, although still active.
Should the bill that asks Georgians to vote on the legalization of sports betting pass by a majority vote, a launch of the industry would be seen in late 2023 at the earliest.
SR 135 would like the Georgia General Assembly to pass the resolution that would put the subject of legal sports betting on the November 2022 ballots for residents to weigh in.
What’s The Resolution About?
The resolution bill not only puts the question of legal sports wagering on the ballot but it also comes with some structure to what the industry would look like should it be made legal. Professional and college sports outside of colleges in Georgia would all be eligible for bets.
A 16% tax rate on all GGR is detailed in the proposal and a lowered application fee for potential operators has been set to make the market more appealing for gaming businesses to want to enter the industry in the Peach State. Revenue is expected to go toward funding education initiatives, healthcare, and getting internet access available to the more rural parts of the state.
Mobile sportsbooks would be open for statewide use by sports bettors. While this is a similar proposal to House Bill 570 that is also on the table and does not call for a constitutional amendment. GA HB 570 would have mobile platforms run by the state lottery and only put revenue toward the HOPE education program whereas SR 135 could spread revenue to multiple areas of the state in need of finances.
What’s Next For Georgia?
The discussions on Thursday are now seeing SR 135 as the best option for the future of Georgia’s legal sports betting market. The question that would be seen on the November 2022 ballot for voters through the passage of this measure would be:
“Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to authorize sports betting in this state and to provide for such proceeds to be used for need-based educational funding, scholarships, rural health care services and deployment of broadband to unserved areas.”
Revenue from the market is being discussed at a conservative annual estimate of $25-$50 million. Advocates for the measure spoke up in the hearing to say that Georgians are in need of a legal sports gaming market as gambling on sporting events occurs daily by residents and legalizing the industry would not only benefit the state but also be the safer choice for consumers.
“Currently, if it’s done illegally, you don’t have liens on your house, you got Guido coming to break your legs if you don’t pay. If it’s legal, that doesn’t happen,” said Jeff Mullis, a Senator and advocate of sports betting legislation.
The Georgia General Assembly adjourns on April 2 making the need for these decisions to be made swiftly. No hearing date has been scheduled for SR 135’s next reading.
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Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.