Georgia Passes on Sports Betting, Will Have to Wait Until 2023Georgia
Sports bettors in Georgia are going to have to wait a little longer to be able to place legal sports wagers in their state.
This week, lawmakers in the state signaled that they likely will not pass legislation that would have legalized sports betting and other forms of gambling before this year’s session ends on March 30.
It’s a big disappointment to lawmakers who are hoping to keep some of the state’s sports betting dollars in state, rather than have people travel over borders to wager in other states.
Georgia lawmakers who are in favor of passing sports betting legislation have pointed to the fact that they know that residents of their state are wagering on sports. Either it’s happening under the table, through illegal means, or residents are traveling to border states where they can legally bet on sports.
As of late March, sports betting is legal and live in Tennessee and North Carolina, both of which border Georgia to the north. Florida, which borders Georgia to the south, has legalized sports gambling, but it’s just not completely live yet.
The problem with Georgia residents traveling to other states to gamble on sports is that other states are the ones that are benefitting from all that tax revenue.
This is a point that Democratic state Representative Marvin Lim pointed out recently when he said:
“[Legal sports betting is] happening on other states and they are getting the tax revenue … So, if we can bring that revenue here in a way that mitigates as much as possible the harms, the way to do that is going to do those disenfranchised communities and that can be a win.”
When Could It Come Back Up Again?
While spring has only just sprung in 2022, it doesn’t seem as if sports betting legislation in Georgia has much of a shot for the remainder of this year. The state legislature has a lot on its plate, according to many lawmakers, with a balanced budget to pass.
The midterm elections in November will also be very telling for how the legislation might proceed going forward. In addition to major elections for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, Georgia governorship is up for election in the fall as well.
Which lawmakers win all the major seats could go a long way in deciding the outcome of sports betting legislation.
For now, those who are in support of legalized sports betting legislation are just going to have to continue waiting. And people who are interested in placing legal sports wagers in the Peach State are just going to have to travel across state lines to do it legally.