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Will Georgia Legalize Online Sports Betting in 2024?
Sports betting is currently illegal in Georgia. Despite lawmakers’ efforts to pass gambling legislation in March of this year, which failed in the Senate. Another bill, HB237, was gaining steam in the legislature but also failed to get approval from state Senators. With the chances of legalizing Georgia betting apps already gone for 2023, the soonest residents could see a discussion on the issue among lawmakers is in the 2024 legislative session.
The Latest On Georgia Online Sports Betting
Attempts to pass sports betting in Georgia became very complicated in 2023. Lawmakers were in disagreement about whether the push to legalize sports betting should be through a constitutional amendment. The law requires a two-thirds majority vote from the House and Senate plus a ‘yes’ vote from state residents at the ballot box in the general election to approve sports betting in the Peach State.
During the next legislative session in 2024, lawmakers and the betting industry must support adding a constitutional amendment and allow voters to resolve the issue in the November election. There’s also a debate among lawmakers about what should be included in the ballot question, with some pushing to include land-based casinos and horse racing betting in the amendment.
Is GA Sports Betting Inevitable?
Legalized sports betting has strong support from many prominent Georgia professional sports teams, including the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA, as CEO Steve Koonin believes that sports betting is important for the team to engage with fans. Also, FanDuel announced in 2021 that it has plans to open an IT production installation in Atlanta. However, online sports betting could still be difficult to pass in Georgia, which is one of a handful of states remaining with no commercial or tribal casinos.
In October, The Entain Foundation, 50% owners of BetMGM’s US operations, met with state lawmakers to discuss gaming expansion. Meanwhile, Georgia Senator Brandon Beach is the latest lawmaker to say they’ll be introducing online gaming legislation, with plans to propose a bill in 2024 to expand online gaming in the state.
Potential GA sportsbooks
With the future of online sports betting in Georgia still unclear, there’s no way of knowing exactly which online sportsbooks will be available in the state if legislation ever passes. Past failed legislative efforts over the last three years called for at least six online providers, and without any retail betting facilities, using mobile apps is the only method that would be available.
Because of its recent investment in the state, FanDuel would be a lock to launch in Georgia if and when online sports betting is available. It’s also licensed in Tennessee, which currently gets a lot of business from bettors in Georgia who cross the border to place their bets.
Caesars Sportsbook is one of the biggest operators in the US, with enough resources to make a bid for an online platform in Georgia. It also operates properties in North Carolina, which are the closest casinos available for residents in the northern part of the state, including Augusta, Athens and Atlanta.
Georgia sports fans can already play DFS games at DraftKings, which is typically one of the first online sportsbooks to launch in any new market in the US. It’s also available for online players in Tennessee, giving it high brand recognition among many potential sports bettors in the state.