Listen: All in on Sports Betting in the final days of the session

‘Politically Georgia’ discusses last-minute legislative goals with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

State Rep. Marcus Wiedower, R-Watkinsville, told the Politically Georgia team Tuesday that he’s still pushing to get sports betting passed this session.

Two bills would need to pass out of committee on Wednesday to make it happen.

Georgia State Rep. Marcus Wiedower is seen at an Appropriations General Government Sub Committee meeting at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on Friday, January 20, 2023.   (Arvin Temkar /

Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

icon to expand image

Credit: Arvin Temkar/AJC

Senate Bill 386 would set up the framework for sports betting, while Senate Resolution 579 would allow Georgians to vote on the issue in a statewide referendum.

Wiedower says he doesn’t gamble himself, but he supports sports betting because it could net the state $150 million in its first year.

“This is something we’re bringing into the legal market that we’d be able to regulate, monitor, and bring money into the education system in Georgia,” he said.

If the bills don’t pass out of committee, they’re unlikely to make it to the floor on Thursday before the end of the session.

Democratic state Rep. Stacey Evans of Atlanta is focused on other priorities.

State Rep. Stacey Evans (D) speaks in opposition to HB1105 during Crossover Day at the Capitol in Atlanta on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. HB1105 would penalize sheriffs who don’t coordinate with federal immigration authorities to the House of Public Safety and Homeland Security.
Miguel Martinez /

Credit: Miguel Martinez/AJC

icon to expand image

Credit: Miguel Martinez/AJC

“I’m looking out in a hopeful way for any last chance on Medicaid expansion,” she said, even though a late push to pass that expansion narrowly failed last week.

As for her future at the Legislature, Evans said that she’s not ruling out running for minority leader after state Rep. James Beverly retires at the end of this session.

The podcast also featured a discussion with AJC writers Tamar Hallerman and Bill Rankin, who interviewed Ashleigh Merchant, a defense attorney in the election interference case.

Merchant says she had a duty to reveal the relationship between Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and then-special prosecutor Nathan Wade.

Wednesday on ‘Politically Georgia’: Longtime State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver and Majority Leader Chuck Efstration join the show.