Atlanta Falcons

  • A proposal for legal sports betting in Georgia was approved Friday and is set to be voted on by the full Senate.
  • The addition of sports betting in Georgia will help with the billion-dollar budget deficit the state is facing due to the pandemic and add fund to the HOPE scholarship
  • Professional sports teams also support GA HB 903 because of the engagement sports betting odds could add to their franchises.

ATLANTALawmakers approved a sports wagering proposal for residents in the state of Georgia on Friday morning.

Legislation has now been passed for legal sports betting by the Senate Special Judiciary Committee.

Adding the legalization onto GA HB 903, Georgia residents were able to bring back up the discussion, adding it behind a traffic citation bill.

Amid the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Georgia government officials have looked to the multi-million dollar sports betting industry to possibly help the state economy.

“This is exactly the time to legalize sports wagering in Georgia,” said Jen Jordan, the Senate Chair of the Special Judiciary Committee. “Whether its fantasy football leagues or tournament brackets, Georgians are currently wagering in an illegal market without protections. We need to bring it into the light where it can be transparent and regulated. And with over a billion dollars in cuts to K-12 education in this state, finding new streams of revenue is critical. This bill will provide badly needed dollars when we need them the most.”

State agencies over public K-12 schools, colleges and universities, health care for children, elections, cost of courts, road and intersections, and much more are facing almost $3.6 billion in budget cuts.

It is estimated that if the law is signed, sports betting could provide the state with over $40 million in revenue a year.

Sports betting operators would pay a 20% tax and most of the revenue would help fund the Hope scholarship which helps Georgia students to go to colleges and universities in the state.

The bill is not only supported for its economic benefits but also for the potential benefits to the state’s professional sports teams.

The Georgia Professional Sports Integrity Alliance consisting of the Atlanta Falcons, Braves, Hawks, and United are fully backing the legalization of sports betting.

“In addition to creating strict regulatory requirements and safeguards for consumers, it will protect the integrity of our games and greatly enhance our engagement with fans,” said Steve Koonin, Atlanta Hawks CEO. “During this difficult time for our professional sports teams, maintaining and building our engagement and relationship with fans is absolutely critical.”

The future of sports betting in Georgia has seemed uncertain for years and though it seems like the perfect time for the state to finally pass the law, there is no way to know for sure.

Supporters may be holding their breath because the bill is now set to be voted on by the full Senate any different forms of sports wagering legislation have failed after being introduced in the past.

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