Good news for Peach State gamblers: the Georgia House of Representative members plan to hold multiple discussions regarding sports gaming during their 2022 legislative session in January, a clear sign that the legal sports betting issue in Georgia is far from dead.
There have been prior attempts at jump-starting a Georgia sports betting market, including earlier this year when Senate Resolution 135 and Senate Bill 142 were introduced, both aimed at letting Georgia voters decide whether they’ll allow regulated and taxed sports betting in their state.
Neither of those pieces of legislation passed, but ever since at least 32 paid lobbyists have worked relentlessly towards the passage of legalized sports gambling in Georgia and those efforts have paid off with these upcoming plans for discussions.
The optimism is high among lawmakers in favor of this issue, and state representative Ron Stephens is hopeful that this time around state politicians will give residents the chance to vote on this potentially lucrative operation, telling the media:
It looks more encouraging than ever.
It’s a good sign, especially given gambling’s history in Georgia.
Right now Georgia has no physical casinos and the only kind of gambling explicitly allowed there are raffles for charitable organizations, so the idea of legalizing sports betting on any level marks a huge step forward for the state and its residents.
Without any physical venues, the sports betting industry in Georgia would go live statewide with just mobile platforms hosting sportsbooks guided by legislation that is modeled after a law in Tennessee that permits online betting only.
However, that potential plan doesn’t please some lawmakers, like Rep. Alan Powell, a supporter of legalized gambling who is not in favor of this type of sports betting in isolation.
According to Powell, using online gambling only would fail to generate the same level of revenue that bricks-and-mortar casinos could produce, telling the media that with this proposal:
There are no jobs created. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do this.
This point of contention and others have delayed Georgia from joining surrounding states in this new fiscal venture.
Currently, states surrounding Georgia have already taken the legal sports betting plunge, with Tennessee, North Carolina, Mississippi and soon others now offering their residents access to legal sportsbooks.
Now the money that bettors were already funneling out of those states is being taxed and redirected towards improving the lives of residents, which could be the same in Georgia where gambling proceeds would be used to create college scholarships for low-income students and expand high-speed internet access and rural health care services.
At least leave it up to the voters, as Rep. Stephens has said many times:
Let the people decide: Do we want to gamble or do we not? That’s the cleanest way to do it.
Now it looks like Georgia lawmakers will attempt to give that plan another shot in January, so check back here for all the latest news and updates.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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