Senate Approves Georgia Sports Betting Bill, But With Major Tweak

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  • The Georgia Senate approved sports betting measure SB 386 by a 35-15 vote
  • The measure was amended to require a law amendment to go legal
  • If approved by nan House, Georgia voters would determine its destiny during nan November wide election

A Georgia sports betting measure is connected its measurement to nan House aft being approved by nan Senate this morning, albeit pinch a monolithic alteration to really sports betting will beryllium legalized successful nan Peach State.

Sen. Clint Dixon’s (R-45) sports betting bill, SB 386, was approved 35-15 by members of nan Senate, but amended to require nan request for a law amendment earlier going into effect.

If approved by nan House of Representatives, Georgia voters would person nan last opportunity connected sports betting astatine nan 2024 November wide election. If approved by voters during nan upcoming election, sports betting would apt motorboat successful 2025.

Constitutional Amendment Now Necessary for Legalization

Dixon’s measure legalizes online sports betting for 16 licence holders successful nan authorities and called for nan Georgia Lottery to modulate nan games. Unlike antecedently introduced bills, Dixon’s portion of authorities did not telephone for a law amendment for sports betting legalization, arsenic sports betting would beryllium classified arsenic a lottery crippled and taxation revenues would beryllium earmarked by nan lottery to money pre-kindergarten programs and HOPE scholarships.

However, Sen. Bill Cowsert (R-46) projected an amendment to nan measure this greeting requiring it beryllium approved done a law amendment. Without an amendment, Cowsert warned sports betting would beryllium challenged successful nan courts and held up by opponents for years. An amendment would besides let regulators to usage sports betting taxation gross to support different avenues extracurricular of pre-kindergarten programs and HOPE scholarships, specified arsenic problem gaming services for authorities residents.

“A law amendment does not undermine nan purposes aliases guidelines of this bill,” he told nan Senate.

Earlier this year, Cowsert introduced his ain sports betting bill (SB 172) which calls for sports betting legalization done a law amendment. It has not yet been heard successful committee.

Sen. Derek Mallow (D-2) had beardown words for his colleagues and those pinch a desire to either ballot down nan sports betting bill, hold nan bill, aliases tack connected nan request for a law amendment. This measure would alteration a afloat funded and cosmopolitan Pre-Kindergarten programme for each children successful nan state. There is presently a lottery that awards spots successful nan state’s programme to families.

“I committedness each of you that without this measure those kids will still beryllium connected a lottery for Pre-K,” he warned.

Dixon besides urged his colleagues to cull nan amendment, saying it could unfastened nan doorway to casinos arriving successful nan authorities and deflect overmuch needed acquisition backing for young Georgians.

“I’m asking that you ballot down this amendment. All nan backing will spell to nan Georgia lottery, it will spell to backing Pre-K, HOPE, and Zell Miller Scholarship. As acquisition president successful nan senate, I tin show you there’s a awesome request for this. We request much pre-k and infrastructure for Pre-K,” he said.

Despite his warnings, nan amendment was approved by a 34-7 vote. The measure now heads to nan Georgia House of Representatives and will await a committee hearing.

Likely No Sports Betting Until 2025

With nan request for a law amendment, nan chances of Georgia sports betting launching this twelvemonth person dwindled to zero if this measure passes. If approved by nan house, Georgia voters would person nan last opportunity connected sports betting legalization during nan Nov. 5, 2024, wide elections successful nan state.

The rumor of sports betting legality successful nan authorities and nan astir effective trigger has been hotly debated complete nan past fewer years. Sports betting has its proponents successful Georgia, but it seems arsenic if nan statement has been divided connected nan mobility of nan necessity for a law amendment.

Sen. Carden H. Summers (R-13) said he supports sports betting successful nan state, but putting it to a ballot done a law amendment would beryllium nan champion measurement to guarantee its chances. The Georgia Lottery, he reminded his colleagues, was approved successful nan early 1990s by Georgia voters done a akin process.

“I judge that group of Georgia are smart capable to determine whether they want to region nan gambling prohibition successful our constitution. We request to fto nan group of Georgia ballot connected this…Let’s fto group ballot to determine what they want successful Georgia, conscionable for illustration we fto them ballot for nan lottery,” he said.

An amendment would apt negate immoderate ineligible challenges from extracurricular parties if approved, but group nan timeline backmost for motorboat until 2025 if approved by nan House.

Sports Betting Bill Details

Dixon’s measure sets nan sports betting taxation complaint astatine 20% of adjusted gross revenue. Licenses would costs $1 cardinal annually to renew and applicants would person to salary a $100,000 exertion fee. It would let for bets connected assemblage sports.

The measure accounts for a full of 16 online sports betting licenses, pinch nan numbers breaking down arsenic follows:

  • Five for Georgia master sports teams (Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta United FC, and Atlanta Dream)
  • One for Augusta National Golf Course
  • One for nan PGA Tour
  • One for Atlanta Motor Speedway
  • One for nan Georgia Lottery Corporation

The remaining 7 licenses will beryllium awarded by nan Lottery Corporation done a nationalist procurement process.

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Robert Linnehan

Gambling Regulatory Writer and Editor

Regulatory Writer and Editor

Rob covers each regulatory developments successful online gambling. He specializes successful US sports betting news on pinch casino regularisation news arsenic 1 of nan astir trusted sources successful nan country.

Gambling

Rob covers each regulatory developments successful online gambling. He specializes successful US sports betting news on pinch casino regularisation news arsenic 1 of nan astir trusted sources successful nan country.

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