Sports betting in Georgia
Sports betting in Georgia has been given new hope as a Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee panel voted 8-1 to move forward with House Bill 237, which would legalize sports betting in the state. Republican House Speaker Jon Burns and Lt. Gov. Burt Jones have been open to reviving gambling legislation after lawmakers failed in several attempts this year. However, Republican Sen. Mike Dugan slammed the tactic used to attach sports betting to an innocuous bill, stating that “it will not pass on the floor”. This year, chances the Legislature would vote to legalize sports betting seemed all but doomed. The Senate rejected two proposals ranging from a basic online sports betting bill to one that would open up online sportsbooks and allow machines at licensed locations. The surviving bill will be overseen by the Georgia Lottery, which will issue gaming licenses, and the revenue will be used for the same purpose as the state lottery’s HOPE collegiate scholarship and Pre-K programs. Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia, believes legalized sports betting will gain more support as time passes, citing neighboring Tennessee as an example of the economic benefits of sports gaming.