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Georgia Sports Betting Bills Inches Closer to House Vote

Written by: Michael Savio
Published March 21, 2024
6 min read
Georgia Sports Betting Bills Inches Closer to House Vote

Georgia is once again preparing to revisit legalizing the sports betting industry.

The Georgia House’s Higher Education Committee is reviewing Senate Resolution 579, which is attached to a bill that would legalize sports betting (SB 386). The discussed resolution would determine how tax revenue generated from sports betting would be used. Currently, 80% of the revenue goes to supporting Georgia schools, 15% to problem gambling programs, and 5% to attracting major sporting events to the state.

While the resolution is similar to the tax revenue distribution of other states, it has caused some debate among House members. Some believe the state should not raise funds annually to attract sporting events. Others believe the projected revenue would not be enough to warrant this kind of distribution, and they argue that it should be spread to other areas.

One of the most prominent roadblocks for sports betting in Georgia is the lack of an official projection of tax revenue. Some House members insist the rax revenue won’t be enough to make a significant difference, which leaves others questioning why they would risk a spike in problem gambling.

“Since we’re not gonna really make any money based on what you’re saying, and then we’re gonna have people gambling, and then we’ve gotta take care of them, then why are we even doing this?” House member Rhonda Burnough said. “What’s the purpose?”

While the bill will eventually move on to a House vote, it remains unlikely to pass. 

Georgia Could Follow Missouri’s Lead

While the House resists legalizing sports betting, the public supports the move. Some have called for the state to allow Georgia residents to vote on the issue since they will be most affected.

Missouri found itself in a similar situation but recently launched a ballot initiative to legalize sports betting to a public vote. The effort was led by sports betting proponents and the state’s pro sports franchise. Georgia’s sports organizations strongly favor legalization, meaning they could move forward with a similar effort if the current bill fails.

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AUTHOR

Michael Savio

412 Articles

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.

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