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Could Georgia Be Target for Sports Betting in 2022?

Could Georgia Be Target for Sports Betting in 2022?

Georgia has come close to allowing sports betting to take place, but time ran out in the 2021 legislative session. Bettors are still hopeful that they will be able to place a wager at some point in 2022.

Does Sports Betting Have Enough Momentum to Launch in 2022 in the Peach State 

Residents in Georgia could not bet on playoff baseball when their hometown Atlanta Braves took home the World Series against the Houston Astros. For the time being, those who live in Georgia can play on Daily Fantasy Sports sites.

There were bills set in place that would have put sports betting on the 2022 ballot, but the bills couldn’t get enough support to make it past the House floor. 

Sen. David Lucas and Rep. Robert Dickey had the chance to speak with 13 WMAZ Radio. They seemed very optimistic about the potential of another sports betting bill that would be brought up in the upcoming legislative session.

Sen. Lucas believes that allowing sports betting in the state shouldn’t be an issue. Bettors are already placing wagers on offshore sportsbooks, local bookies, and even crossing state lines to place bets in Tennessee. It’s not controversial. 

He went on to say,” People are doing it anyway. They’re doing it now. People make wagers all the time. People gamble all the time.” 

Rep. Dickey also had the opportunity to point out what the state would do with the additional revenue once the sports betting market gets established in the state. There are a lot of possibilities that need to be carefully considered once the operation begins.

One suggestion that Sen. Lucas made the additional tax revenue be used to potentially fund the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. One thing to note is that neighboring states like Tennessee have used the 20 percent tax rate they charge sportsbook operators to fund educational scholarships, infrastructure projects to improve roads, and supporting gambling addiction programs.

Who is Supporting the Sports Betting Bills in Georgia?  

At the late-session hearing as legislators made their final push to allow sports betting in 2021, Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin made a strong argument about why a sports betting market should be established in the Peach State. 

Koonin stated that sports betting would bring more engagement for professional sports teams during the pandemic. 

Sports gambling has been difficult to market in Georgia, one of the few states that do not host commercial casinos or even tribal casinos. With no law or amendment to a sports betting bill, 2022 is the earliest chance of a bill getting passed. 

The focus with no gaming facilities operating in the state for lawmakers should be how legalizing, regulating, and taxing the existing revenue would help the state, especially the residents of Georgia. 

If sports betting ever does become legal in the state, there is no doubt that the main focus will be mobile and online sports betting.

The next legislative session begins on January 10th and will last until March 31st, when it adjourns. 

This year may not have gone as lawmakers hoped, but the legislation established at least six online sportsbooks that will most likely be ready to launch if a sports betting bill gets passed.

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