Georgia Sports Betting Bill Denied Once Again

Citizens in the state of Georgia got some unfortunate news on April 4th as they found out that the push to legalize sports betting was unsuccessful. Georgia legislators ended the session to legalize sports betting, with no clear direction of when it will be legal.

Sports betting in Georgia didn’t seem likely until representative Ron Stephens decided to amend both pieces of legislation and introduced him to his committee on March 28th. Considering that the vote happened only a week later, the main issue here is because of the short notice.

A week prior to this vote, the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee approved legislation SB 142. Legislation SB 142 is a bill to legalize online and retail sports betting.

2021 Sports Betting In Georgia

In 2021, Georgia politicians tried but failed, to pass the same bill legalizing sports betting in the Georgia House of Representatives. In March 2021, the Georgia Senate passed Bill SB 142 by a vote of 32-17. The bill would have made sports betting legal in Georgia and placed it under the control of the Georgia lottery. However, it stagnated in the House and was never voted on.

Now looking at 2022, If Ron Stephens decided to bring this up earlier in the year, it is possible that Georgia could have had a better idea of the benefits of sports betting and the bill could have been passed through legislators. 

Stephens’s process was flawed as many in his committee said they were seeing the bills for the first time that day. Getting a bill passed for something as serious as sports betting is going to take much longer than representatives looking at it for the first time that day.

Why Would They Not Want It Legalized?

It seems as if many of the Southern States of America don’t want to legalize sports betting. Georgia is just one of many southern states that have yet to finalize a deal to allow their citizens to bet on their favorite teams.

When thinking about why they wouldn’t allow this, there really is no clear-cut answer. Considering that sports betting made over $53 billion in revenue in 2021, it truly doesn’t make sense why every state hasn’t legalized it.

Instead, people in the state of Georgia are going to have to go to other states to place wagers on their favorite teams. There is one state bordering Georgia, Tennessee, which is now benefiting from the citizens of Georgia and the state is not getting any revenue in return.

With how prominent sports betting has become throughout the United States, it would seem likely that Georgia is eventually going to catch on and allow residents of their state to start gambling on their favorite teams.

However, with the most recent attempt to pass a bill for sports betting failing, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be happening any time soon.

Although the first go-around of legalizing sports betting in Georgia did not end successfully, it could also be looked at as a benefit.

The first go-around saw representative Ron Stephens introduce the bill to his team for the first time on the day that they had to vote on the bill. There were multiple reports that Representatives on the house floor actually thought that it could be a good idea, they just needed much more time to go over the process and all the legal issues around legalizing betting.

Next Sports Betting Filling

Unfortunately for residents of the state of Georgia, sports betting is likely not going to be legal for at least the next year.

Stephens desired the establishment of a new regulatory body to control gaming and GA sports betting. However, because filling those posts would have taken time, the initial license date was pushed back to Sept. 1, 2023.

How Can George Gamblers Bet On Sports?

There aren’t going to be many legal options for the people of Georgia to start betting on sports. Considering that the states that border Georgia, including Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina not having any real momentum to finalize a deal to allow sports betting, citizens of the state can’t even go to other states and bet at casinos.

The only bordered state with legal sports betting around Georgia is Tennessee. There are some offshore sportsbooks that will allow a resident of Georgia to bet, but in their state, options are not going to be a thing until at least 2023.

Prominent members in the state have not been happy about this decision. Atlanta Braves CEO Derek Schiller released this statement after he found out the news:

“I know for a fact we did everything we could to try, and so I don’t think there’s an issue with our effort or the efforts of the other pro teams in town,” Schiller said. “We worked closely with a bunch of the different constituencies involved in trying to put together a framework for a bill that we thought would work. And we ultimately couldn’t even get that bill voted on.

“I suppose it’s mostly disappointing because this is something whose day and time should have come already.”

sports betting doesn’t look like it is going to be coming to Georgia anytime soon, so make sure if you are a Georgia citizen to make a trip over to Tennessee and place your wagers.

You can bet in George through offshore sportsbooks, like Bovada.




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Alfred Jenkins

Alfred Jenkins studied journalism in the California public university system. He has been writing about sports and sports betting for nearly two decades.