Georgia sports betting laws

  • A panel in the House approved GA HB 903 – a statewide referendum for all legal gambling including sports betting, casinos, and horse racing.
  • In the last week of the 2020 legislative session, lawmakers are hoping to speed up the process by adding the legalization to a processing bill.

ATLANTA – Members of the House have approved a proposal to allow voters to decide on the fate of all forms of gambling in Georgia.

A resolution requesting a referendum on Georgia sports betting, casinos, and horse racing throughout the state was passed by the House Regulated Industries Committee on Monday.

In March, the same committee voted for the legalization of gambling.

The vote could not make it to the House because of social distancing protocols which caused lawmakers to take a three-month break.

Since it is now the last week of the legislative session for 2020, supporters have found a way to add the legislation onto a traffic citation bill – GA HB 903 – that is very close to becoming law.

This coming after a Senate panel signed off on a proposal last Friday to allow sports betting in the state of Georgia.

It will now have to be voted on by all members of the Senate.

Many are in favor of bringing legalized gambling to the Peach State including government representatives from all around the state and even owners of the professional teams in Atlanta.

Rep. Ron Stephens, R- Savannah told members of the House committee that even those that are against it should give residents the opportunity to vote on the bill.

Stephens has been vocal about his desire for the introduction of legal gambling to the state.

There is still strong opposition for legal sports betting and a lot comes from those that believe gambling will bring crime to the area.

“Any state that’s got gambling in it, you probably wouldn’t want to live,” said Virginia Galloway, regional field director of Duluth-based Faith and Freedom Coalition. “I don’t want my state to become Louisiana, New Jersey (or) Illinois.”

Only time will tell if Georgia will be able to legalize the industry in time and join the growing list of states with legal sports betting around the US.

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