Table of Contents
Georgia Sports Betting – Latest Legal Updates
Sports betting in Georgia has yet to be legalized, as several pieces of legislation to permit the activity have come up short. Georgia is home to several professional and collegiate sports teams, with the state remaining one of the strictest anti-gambling markets. Georgia residents love their sports teams, but no legal betting apps will be available anytime soon.
Georgia Sports Betting – The Latest
The most recent effort to legalize sports betting in Georgia saw state legislators stalled in talks about adding legal sports gambling as an amendment to the state constitution, which is the only way it can be accomplished. That would require approval in each legislative chamber and a majority vote from Georgia residents in the general election.
Sports betting legislation came to a vote twice in 2023, failing to pass by the crossover deadline both times. Senators first rejected SB 57, which would have combined horse betting with sports wagering, by a 37-19 margin. The second bill, SR 140, did a little better, failing by a 30-26 vote. However, both bills needed two-thirds of the total vote to have a referendum and amend the Georgia constitution to allow Georgia betting apps.
Will We See Legal Sports Betting in GA soon?
Georgia lawmakers must back a constitutional amendment in 2024 to allow voters to resolve the sports betting question in the general election in November. The amendment must be in place so legislators can decide how the new tax revenue will be distributed. There’s also the debate about what will be included in the ballot, as some lawmakers seek to authorize land-based casinos and wagering on horse racing.
After several years of discussions and little action, the state will again put legal sports betting as a priority in 2024, which is backed by the Georgia Professional Sports Integrity Alliance, a federation of pro sports teams lobbying to have sports betting legalized. Recent proposals have also included mobile sports betting as part of a gaming bill.
If sports betting in Georgia becomes legal in 2024, there’s a higher likelihood that mobile betting sites will be available before land-based bookmakers are up and running.
Projected Georgia Betting Market
Georgia has a population of over 10 million residents, meaning the sports betting market should be expansive. Pennsylvania could be a close comparison to Georgia, with over 12 million residents. The state currently handles over $400 million in annual sports betting revenue, with several million in taxes collected from operators monthly.
If sports betting is legalized in the Peach State, it could approach the numbers of New Jersey in the long term, which has seen several recent consecutive months of sports betting revenue of over $1 billion. Experts agree that the state will be a hugely profitable market once sports betting becomes legal.
Georgia trails most states when it comes to legalized gaming, as many Tribal casinos have hoped to be approved in the last several years with no results. Native American tribes in Georgia are expected to keep putting pressure on state lawmakers to support legal gaming in the future.