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Latest Sports Betting Bill Dies as Georgia Legislature Unable to Agree on Revenue Distribution

Written by: Michael Savio
Published April 2, 2024
6 min read
Georgia Legislature Unable to Agree on Revenue Distribution

It appears that Georgia will have to wait until 2025 for legal sports betting.

This year’s attempt to legalize sports betting ran into the same roadblock as past attempts. Negotiations once again broke down over how tax revenue from sports betting would be distributed.

The failed bill would have given most of the revenue to the state’s pre-K programs. While both sides support those programs, many leading Democrats believe more should be used to create a more accessible college scholarship program. 

While many Republicans supported the bill, a group is against legalizing sports betting altogether. They point to the spike in problem gambling in other states and don’t believe it would be wise to introduce that into the Peach State. However, Republicans supporting the bill argue that the state already has problems.

“This allows us to get those people off an illegal market into a legal market, allows us to regulate it and tax it, and take care and protect Georgia citizens,” said bill sponsor Rep. Marcus Wiedower.

Despite a reworked bill, representatives are no closer to agreeing on how the market will operate.

Constitutional Amendment Sets High Bar for Legalization

One big reason this Peach State is struggling to get enough support for sports betting is how it is doing it. The state believes that a constitutional amendment would be required to legalize the industry. An amendment requires 2/3 approval from the Georgia Legislature to be passed. That means even if the Republicans could unify their party behind the effort, they would still need support from Democrats.

Some representatives and sports betting proponents argue that a constitutional amendment is unnecessary. However, the majority believe that since gambling is in the state’s constitution, expanding it would require an amendment.

Missouri began going directly to the public to overcome impasses in the state legislature, and Georgia could soon follow. Many of the prop sports teams support legalization, so they could join with sportsbook to gather signatures to put a vote on sports betting to Georgia residents.

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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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