Sports and Casino Gaming Making Their Way To Georgia

Legal Gambling Soon To Be Legal In Georgia?
Mar 01, 2020 12:03Joe Tarzaiski

Georgia has a thriving sports and casino gaming community currently prohibited by law as stated in Code Section 16-12-20 et seq.. Local citizens should at this time contact a local attorney to determine whether or not an activity is or not permitted. The Georgia State Lottery, however, is currently permitted in the state, as a majority of the funds are used for education and scholarships.

Since land-based casinos are illegal in the state, the citizens do utilize legal options to wager. The Cherokee Tribe have two casinos roughly 150 miles away from Atlanta. There is also a casino boat in Brunswick which sails three miles away from the state, entering international waters where casino gambling is permitted.

The current Georgia gambling laws currently prohibits wagering in the state, including racing, casinos, and elections. A full list can easily be found online.

Is Georgia Looking To Change Their Ban From Gambling?

There is a new gambling bill to soon become a reality in Georgia. The people of the Peach State have growing interest in casino gambling joining their community. Governor Brian Kemp has previously expressed his disinterest in the legalization of gambling, but recently decided, along with the House, to let voters decide whether or not casinos will join the people of Georgia.

What Will The Possibilities Be If This Bill Is Passed?

There are several measures involved in making this a reality.

  •  One action of legislation would permit horse racing in Georgia along with legalized gambling on the sport. The second action would allow casinos in specific areas in the state. These would both require amendments to the constitution, meaning it would be a ‘ballot question’ in November of 2020 which would be decided by the voters of Georgia.
  •  The assumed location of these casinos would most likely begin in Atlanta and Savannah. Horse racing is viewed to have the biggest upside for the rural areas of the state, such as Columbus and Augusta.
  •  House Speaker David Ralston spoke of his disinterest of the sports gaming industry joining the state. However, he decided to overlook his personal opinions to “recognize there’s a tremendous amount of support around the state to have one or two casinos around Georgia.”

What Will The State Endure During This Process?

The biggest issues the state will face to pass the legalization will most likely be from the House as well as the Senate. A two-thirds majority vote would be required to enable passage of the bill through the two chambers. If it does indeed pass, the November 2020 election will allow the voters to endorse the measure with their simple majority vote.

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Joe Tarzaiski
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Joe Tarzaiski began his sports writing career in 2004 in the Philadelphia market, analyzing and handicapping professional sports, college sports, poker and various table games. He currently reports on the increased efforts on the legalization and continual growth of sports betting throughout the United States. A Philadelphia University alum, Joe is dedicated to following current trends in both the gaming community and daily news throughout the sports world.
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