- Georgia will not be seeing any sports betting legislation pass in 2020.
- The session ends in a week and the two bills that would legalize sports betting did not make the cut after March 12 in what the Assembly calls “Crossover Day”.
- Gambling on sporting events in the Peach State is a billion-dollar industry.
ATLANTA – Two sports betting bills in Georgia have failed to make it past “Crossover Day” which is March 12 for the Georgia General Assembly. Crossover Day in the Legislature is like when players are cut from teams after camp; they were good enough to practice but not good enough to move forward.
Both bills would have made Georgia sports betting legal, only differing in that one offered mobile platforms for gambling on sports matchups.
A Surprising Twist
It’s surprising to see how lawmakers haven’t given legal sports betting more of a shot as there were so many people backing its legislation this year. Professional leagues in the state even went so far as to create the Georgia Professional Sports Integrity Alliance (GPSIA) to advocate for the legalization of sports betting. However, that was still not enough to get either bill across the threshold to the other side for further hearings.
House Resolution 378 and Senate Bill 403 offered hope to sports enthusiasts in the Peach State that wanted to have local options for gambling on sporting events legally. Georgia is home to so many great teams, both on the professional and collegiate levels.
Senate Bill 403 would have made mobile sports betting platforms legal which has shown to be the most popular way for sports bettors to engage in the activity.
House Resolution 378 allowed for retail sportsbooks but internet and mobile outlets were not part of the proposal. Over $1 billion is gambled yearly on sports matchups by Georgia residents. These bets are made through black market outlets and is all profit that is lost for the state because their constituents have nowhere else to turn to.
The majority of Georgians that participated in a poll on sports betting legalization voted in favor of the pastime. That is not surprising after seeing how much money is wagered each year by these same people.
The residents of the state have spoken, the leagues have spoken, and each wants to make gambling on sports in Georgia legal.
The Georgia General Assembly session adjourns on March 27. There is little that will stop the bills from dying out this year as there is only one week left. Some are holding out hope that when it comes time to make amendments that these sports betting bills will be revived but no real sports bettor would bet on that happening.
Georgia will have to continue to wait and see when lawmakers will finally embrace the idea of legal sports betting the way many others in the state have.
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.