Georgia sports betting chances down to final legislative day

georgia sports betting



Georgia sports betting update

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is not an online gambling operator or gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.

It all comes down to this moment, as lawmakers have one final day to make a determination on the future of Georgia sports betting.

A Georgia sports betting package, which includes a constitutional amendment for voters to approve in the November general election, is hoping to move to the House calendar for a chance at approval today.

It still faces long odds, but is very much alive during the state’s final day of legislative action.

Georgia Sports Betting Needs Voter Approval

Both SB 386, a bill to legalize online sports betting, and SR 579, a resolution legalizing sports betting through a constitutional amendment, were approved this morning by the Georgia House Committee on Higher Education and moved ahead to the House Committee on Rules.

However, the rules committee did not discuss either of the bills during its 9 a.m. meeting. Committee Chairman Rep. Butch Parrish (R-158) did hint, however, that the committee will likely meet again today to discuss further legislation, which means the sports betting still has a chance at being moved forward.

Sen. Clint Dixon’s (R-45) bill, SB 386, aims to legalize online sports betting for 16 license holders in the state. The legislation sets the sports betting tax rate at 25% of gross revenue. Licenses would cost $1 million annually to renew and applicants would have to pay a $100,000 application fee. It would allow for bets on college sports.

Sen. Bill Cowsert’s (R-16) SR 579, which requires Georgia voters to approve a constitutional amendment in the November general election to legalize sports betting, also sets specific sports betting tax revenue disbursements for the state. His resolution notes that 85% of sports betting tax revenue will be earmarked for HOPE Scholarship funding, pre-kindergarten funding, educational training, and capital improvements. The remaining 15% of revenue will be dedicated to a problem gaming fund and capped at $150 million.

Both pieces of legislation were successfully amended this morning in the higher education committee. Committee members approved an increased tax rate of 25%, up from 20% in the original bill, and language that disallows sports betting operators from deducting free bets and promotional bets from their taxable revenues. Members also amended SR 579 to change the sports betting tax revenue disbursements.

If approved by the House, the bills will have to be sent back to the Senate for concurrence. SR 579 would have to be approved by a two-thirds majority in the house, as it calls for a constitutional amendment.

It will be a busy day for the sports betting packages, but not an impossible one if legislators choose to focus on the bills. Action is expected to be taken until midnight.

If and when GA sports betting eventually launches, state residents will gain access to prominent online sportsbooks. At that time, offers via the likes of the bet365 bonus code and more than a handful of others could come into play.

Georgia Sports Betting Bill Details

If approved, SB 386 will legalize online sports betting for a total of 16 online sports betting licenses, with the numbers breaking down as follows:

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

The remaining seven licenses will be awarded by a newly formed gaming commission that will regulate sports betting in the state.