Georgia Casino, sports betting effort coming in early 2022


Posted: Oct 10, 2021, 2:59 p.m.

Last updated on: October 9, 2021, 4:29 a.m.

Georgian lawmakers have said they will re-introduce legislation to legalize commercial gambling when the General Assembly meets early next year.

Georgia Casino Games Atlanta Sports Betting
Georgia is known as the Peach State. Next year, some state lawmakers hope to move forward with their ambitions to make Georgia also a tourist destination offering visitors casino games and sports betting. (Image: Shutterstock)

The state legislature is expected to meet on January 10. Its 2022 legislative session will run until the end of Match. Meanwhile, gambling bills are expected to be reviewed in the capital city of Atlanta.

Gambling efforts in Georgia have failed every legislative session over the past decade. But with the proliferation of sports betting across the country and the entry of many new states into the US gambling industry, some politicians in Peach State believe the time has finally come for a casino bill. and / or a sports game measure to get adequate support from all parties.

It looks more encouraging than ever, ”said State Representative Ron Stephens (R-Savannah), a long-time supporter of legalization of gambling in Georgia, Capitol Beat Press Service. “Let the people decide: do we want to play or not? This is the cleanest way to do it.

Georgia is one of six states that does not have commercial or tribal casinos or legal sports betting. The others are Hawaii, Kentucky, South Carolina, Utah, and Vermont.

lick industry chops

Georgia has the attention of the country’s major gambling operators. Some notable companies poised to pounce on Georgia if the state hosts their business operations include Las Vegas Sands, Caesars Entertainment, Hard Rock International, Wynn Resorts, and Bally’s Corporation.

Georgia’s Committee on Government Transparency and Campaign Finance reports that there were 34 registered paid lobbyists working on behalf of gambling interests during the 2021 legislative session. In the absence of casinos in Georgia, the plaques Peach Street license plates are typically found in the parking lots of neighboring Florida, Alabama, and North Carolina casinos.

Associated with the country’s largest airport – Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International – and the country’s eighth largest population, Georgia is an extremely attractive market for casino operators.

2020 was not a total defeat for defenders of the game. The state Senate passed a law in March that called for a referendum question on the ballot asking voters if they wanted to change the state constitution to legalize sports betting. While the measure stalled in the House, it was the first time that a measure on gambling has passed in either chamber in the history of the state.

Devil Go Down in Georgia?

Georgia is a deeply religious and largely conservative state. Gambling, often referred to as a “sin industry,” faces strong opposition from faith-based organizations.

Georgia Republicans have served as governor and have controlled the State Senate and House for over 15 years.

However, advocates for legalizing gambling say such entertainment would only improve life in the state.

The Georgia Lottery, the state’s only legal gambling format, has benefited education to the tune of more than $ 23 billion over its 29-year history. The proceeds of the lottery are used to provide tuition scholarships for undergraduates in Georgia colleges, universities and technical schools. The lottery also supports the Georgia Prekindergarten Program which is available to all resident children.

According to supporters, the casino legislation could help students more through a scholarship.

“I don’t think anyone today can say the Georgia Lottery has been bad for the state,” said Rep. Billy Mitchell, (D-Stone Mountain).

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