Researchers Are Calling for Georgia to Legalize Sports Betting

Countless Georgia sports betting fans were distraught when the news broke earlier this year that things died on the table with the hopes of making things legal. There was so much promise, but like most of the other states in the south, nothing was able to get done. Well, that doesn’t mean that everyone is ready to throw in the towel in this case, as researchers are calling for Georgia to legalize sports betting sooner than later.

In a new research study, conducted by Consumer Choice Center, they not only called for sports betting to arrive in Georgia, but they said it’d be a business venture that would be able to bring in a minimum of around $50 million to $200 million had it been in place since 2000. That’s obviously a huge amount of money and that of dough would make a huge difference for the state.

Unfortunately, things indeed didn’t get to move forward through the state’s officials, although it looked like for a while that things would have gotten done. Instead, the majority of folks were against the legal sports betting which really doesn’t make sense. As things stand, it’s up in the air if anything will happen with Georgia. Keep in mind that more than 30 states have legalized betting.

“Georgia should immediately legalize sports betting, and do so in a way that opens the market and encourages competition,” Consumer Choice Center’s David Clement said. “Since the overturning of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, 30 states have sought to legalize sports betting, but not all states have created an open and competitive market.”

Georgia betting may not come next year either

What’s really unfortunate here is that Georgia betting may not come next year either. With things not getting done in 2022, the focus is of course now onto 2023. However, just like Florida, the lawmakers in the state of Georgia don’t appear to be a major rush to get something done, which could further delay things another year. But with that even, who knows if 2024 would bring something different.

The fact of the matter is that Georgia, Florida, Texas, Alabama and others are still waiting to try and get things over the line with sports betting and they’re losing out on a ton of money. This has people losing patience in those respective states, as they really shouldn’t have to travel outside of the state to make their bets. Why should they have to do this?

With things at a standstill with Georgia and its sports betting, this only opens the door for more and more illegal wagers to get done. Illegal sports betting is unfortunately a booming industry in Georgia, as people make their bets under the table and in unregulated fashion. That has been hurting Georgia – and several other states – for so long now.

It goes without saying, but there’s a need for things to be regulated as soon as possible. The longer illegal activity goes on, the worse it’s going to be for so many different parties. And on top of that all, Georgia will simply keep losing money and no one wants to see that happen. If things are delayed until 2024, then that’d 100 percent be the worst-case scenario for the state.

Why has Georgia sports betting been delayed so long?

People keep wondering, why has Georgia sports betting been delayed so long? Everything was looking great leading up to the spring, but then things turned for the worst when it was announced that the sports betting bill failed in early April. Leading up to that decision, the majority of folks thought there was momentum for things to get done.

With this specific initiative, titled SB 142, it would have resulted with sports betting indeed being implemented in the state, plus 18 online sportsbooks being able to operate as well. With this news, people were over the moon with excitement, as they thought that legal sports betting was at their fingertips. Not only that, but online betting would have been massive for Georgia.

We’ve seen some states legalize betting, but there’s still a hold up for online bets being processed. That is a major letdown, as people love the online betting options. What’s better for sports betting fans than being able to make a bet from their couch while watching a game, instead of having to get into their car and drive to one of the local sportsbooks. While that’s not a major issue, it can be a bit of an inconvenience at times.

The people who put together that Georgia initiative knew how much promise it had, which is why they were so pumped up for things to get to that next stage. That feeling of excitement didn’t last long, however, as it was then revealed soon after that the bill died at that level. Now, people are waiting to see what will happen next, with the hope being there for 2023. However, 2024 might be when things actually process.

Peter Lewis

Peter Lewis Jr. comes from Mississippi where he and his family spend their days discussing college football and basketball. He's written sports journalism for years after studying journalism at a local university.