- Two Georgia lawmakers, Senator David Lucas and Representative Robert Dickey, told 13WMAZ that they plan to work on a legal sports betting bill in the upcoming legislative session.
- Sen. Lucas says that a sports betting bill is “not controversial,” because citizens of Georgia are already betting on sports without the state receiving tax revenue fr om it.
ATLANTA – With just two weeks remaining before the start of the upcoming legislative session, lawmakers are beginning to discuss their plans for new legislation.
Earlier this week, Georgia Senator David Lucas and state Representative Robert Dickey told 13WMAZ in Macon this week that one of their priorities for the upcoming legislative session will be to pass a sports betting bill.
Sports Betting Bill “Not Controversial”
Despite several failed attempts to pass a sports betting bill in past legislative sessions, the lawmakers are confident that they can get the legislation passed during the upcoming session beginning January 10. Moreover, they believe that passing a sports betting bill is a non-controversial issue in Georgia.
“It’s not controversial. People are doing it anyway. They’re doing it now. People make wagers all the time. People gamble all the time,” Lucas said.
However, public opinion may not be the only sticking point for an upcoming sports betting bill, as the question of the allocation of the new tax revenue remains, according to Dickey.
“I don’t think we’re all on one page even if you were to pass [a sports betting bill]… where to apply the extra revenue,” Dickey told 13WMAZ.
Tax Revenue Allocation Possibilities Being Considered
Lucas provided one suggestion for tax revenue allocation: the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the largest state sports hall of fame in the United States.
That is far from the only possibility, however. Other states that have created a regulated and legal sports betting allocate their tax revenue to worthwhile causes such as education, infrastructure, and mental health and addiction treatment. It is very likely that Georgia follows the lead of other states and allocates at least a portion of their sports betting tax revenue towards education and problem gambling treatment.
Sports Betting In Georgia A Win-Win
Regardless of the final allocation of sports betting tax revenue, it is clear that creating a regulated and legal sports betting industry in Georgia would benefit both the citizens of Georgia and the state government.
As Lucas told 13WMAZ, Georgia residents will be placing bets on sports regardless of if it is regulated and legalized or not. With that being the case, the state of Georgia would be wise to regulate the industry and ensure that the new tax revenue stream helps the citizens of the state.
The Georgia legislature will first meet for this legislative session on January 10. They will then have until March 31 – over two and a half months – to pass a sports betting bill.
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Jerad has been a welcomed addition to the LegalSportsBetting.com writing team. Covering topics regarding the expansion of sports betting in the US, Jerad focuses on legislative efforts, bill signings and other methods for sports betting legalization. Finishing his education as a college baseball player, Jerad has first-hand knowledge of competitive sports, paired with years of personal sports betting as well. As a political science major at the University of Central Florida, Jerad covers the political, legal, and legislative aspects of sports gambling without any issues.