Georgia House Committee

  • Two bills related to sports betting may have a chance at letting voters choose to legalize the market.
  • One of the two bills relates to gambling as a whole, while the other is related specifically to sports betting.
  • Lawmakers have until April 4 to make a decision.

ATLANTA – Two bills with text to regulate sports betting in Georgia just got the approval of The House Economic Development and Tourism Committee.

The Bills Being Discussed

The conversation around legal gambling in Georgia has long been complicated, and difficult, but at this point Georgia is one of the few states in the country that hasn’t regulated sports betting in some fashion.

SR 135 is meant to create a ballot question for Georgia residents to vote on if they want to remove the current gambling restrictions.

SB 142 on the other hand, lets voters decide to allow a legal Georgia sports betting market, but does not include other forms of gambling or horse racing tracks.

If Georgia were to launch a legal sports betting market, it could reportedly bring in as much as $100 million to be used for educational programs.

Advocates For The Bills

Representative Ron Stephens believes it would be more conducive to amend the constitution one time, rather than trying to do so repeatedly for each proposed expansion to Georgia gambling.

“You would be able to pass a constitutional amendment for only sports betting, but if you want to give the your locals the opportunity, without having to come back next year with Rep. (Derek) Mallow’s suggestion with fantasy sports, with another constitutional amendment or something that’s a sound-alike, look-alike, you would pass the constitutional amendment as it is.”

Republican Representative Randy Nix on the other hand, wants things to be more specific.

“We are talking about sports betting, I would like to make our constitutional amendment be explicitly that,” he said.

Either way, if these bills do not pass both the House and the Senate before the adjourn on April 4, then it will be a long wait before Georgia residents have another chance at regulated sports betting.

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