Another year, another session without Georgia sports betting
There is no midnight train to Georgia for sports betting.
The final day of Georgia’s 2022 legislative session ended last night with no movement on Georgia sports betting after a late push to pass the measure.
Georgia sports betting fails again
This came one week after the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee approved legislation SB 142, a bill to legalize online and retail sports betting, and SR 135, a resolution to allow for the vote on a constitutional amendment in November to legalize sports betting, after the two bills were considered dead in the state.
Ironically, legislators ended up passing SR 135 last night, but amended the bill to replace its sports betting language with a timber tax break bill.
By not approving the pieces of legislation this year, the Peach State likely won’t be able to launch sports betting by 2024 at the earliest. Georgia’s constitution prohibits most forms of gambling, including sports betting and casinos, so any sports betting bill would likely have to be approved by state voters in a general election ballot referendum.
FIRST TAKE: Legislation That Did Not Make It In 2022 Georgia General Assembly
– Any gambling legislation
– Any changes to Georgia's low-THC oil program (medical cannabis)
— Rahul Bali (@rahulbali) April 5, 2022
Georgia loses out on millions
The bills would have legalized retail and online sports betting in the Georgia. Eighteen online sports betting licenses would have been available, with licenses split between Georgia professional sports franchises and other entities. Professional sports franchises would have been able to offer both retail and online sports betting in the state.
The bill set its sports betting tax rate at 20%, with potential license holders having to pay a $100,000 application fee and a $1 million license fee to operate in the state.
A Georgia Gaming Commission would have been created to oversee all legislation regarding state gaming.
Georgia lawmakers attempted to legalize sports betting in 2021, but weren’t able to push a bill through the Georgia House of Representatives. Members of the Georgia Senate passed bill SB 142 by a vote of 32-17 in March 2021. The bill would have legalized Georgia sports betting and put it under the purveyance of the Georgia Lottery. However, it stalled out in the House and never received a vote.