Sports betting is a hot topic of debate in the state of Georgia, and state lawmakers are expected to discuss the issue in January when they resume their next legislative session. Four of the professional sports teams in the state of Georgia have decided to join forces in an effort to try and gain support in the legalization of sports betting.
Organizational leaders of the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Hawks, and Atlanta United have formed the Georgia Professional Sports Integrity Alliance. The GPSIA has held plenty of meetings of late, and they just recently sent a letter to state lawmakers urging them to legalize sports betting.
The reason that professional sports teams and leagues in Georgia want to legalize sports betting is that they want to protect the integrity of their sports. These leagues realize that sports betting is not going away, and the illegal sports betting world is growing by the day.
The Georgia Professional Sports Integrity Alliance wants to ensure that its teams and players are playing the game the right way, and they aren’t being influenced by people in the sports betting industry. The GPSIA reported to the state that Georgia is the 12th biggest state for illegal sports betting, and that number will continue to grow if sports betting is not legalized.
SEC Is Fighting Back
The Southeastern Conference has a strong presence in the southern part of the country, and the University of Georgia is a member of this conference. The SEC has been very vocal in its disapproval of legalized sports betting, and its views have been taken very seriously by lawmakers throughout the state.
Betting on college football is extremely popular in states where sports betting is legal, and the SEC does not want the integrity of its sport to be compromised. The professional sports teams in the state definitely have more money, and their voice should carry more weight than the SEC when it comes to swaying the lawmakers and the registered voters throughout the state.
Money talks, and the professional sports teams bring in a ton of revenue for the Peach State.
Georgia Might Need A Constitutional Amendment
The biggest hurdle that is facing Georgia state lawmakers is that a constitutional amendment may be needed if they are going to legalize sports betting. This type of thing has been the case with several other states that have already legalized sports betting, but it does make it harder to get done.
Amendments require a vote of the residents of the state, and it’s hard to gauge where most residents in the state of Georgia stand on the issue.
Even though some state lawmakers feel that a constitutional amendment would need to be approved, there are some other lobbyist groups who don’t think that is the case. The Georgia Professional Sports Integrity Alliance doesn’t think that a constitutional amendment is necessary, and it is trying to express its belief to the state legislature.
The next legislative session in Georgia is at the beginning of January, and it will be interesting to see what kind of discussion is had at that time.