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A bill proposed in the Georiga State Senate this week may provide the state a more manageable path toward legalizing sports betting. A bipartisan group of 16 legislatures sponsored SB 316, introducing it on the Senate floor on Wednesday. The bill provides a path for legalizing the industry without needing a constitutional amendment, which requires support from two-thirds of the state Legislature and approval from a public vote.
The new bill would treat sports betting as part of the Georgia Lottery Corporation (GLC). This would not require a constitutional amendment since it would be added to an existing organization. Instead, the bill would need to be passed with a majority in the Legislature and then signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp.
On top of the bill’s easier path to becoming law, it would also mean sports betting tax revenue would go into the GLC’s HOPE education fund. This would provide a massive influx of cash into the state’s education system, giving state legislatures even more reason to support the new measure.
While both sides of the aisle support legal sports betting, many still have concerns over problem gambling. Some also believe this bill would cut the Georgia public out of the process by sneaking it into an existing GLC that was never intended to include sports betting.
The new bill has already gathered support from Georgia sports teams and other sports betting proponents, giving SB 316 strong momentum heading into the state legislature’s votes.
The new bill would allow Georgia to establish an extensive sports betting market. It would create 16 operating licenses. Five would be available for the state’s pro sports team, two for major golf courses, one for a pro racing track, and one for the GLC. The remaining seven licenses will be available for public procurement through the GLC.
All operators would have their adjusted gross revenue taxed at 15%, which would go straight into the state’s HOPE fund.
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.More info on Michael Savio
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