The state of Georgia is well-known for having some of the strictest gambling laws in the country. There are almost no legal gambling options in Georgia. Interestingly, lawmakers here are once again discussing the possibility of opening up the state’s gambling industry.
It’s an exciting time for casino and sports betting fans in the state. Today, we’re going to look at why state officials are considering allowing gambling. We’ll also talk about which forms of gambling may soon become available here. Let’s get into it!
Gambling Laws in Georgia, Explained
As we’ve already mentioned, Georgia is notorious for having some of the strictest gambling laws in the country. As of now, the only real form of wagering allowed here is the lottery. There are no land-based casinos in Georgia.
The first set of laws to crack down on the gambling industry in Georgia came back in 1878. That year, the state government banned the sale of lottery tickets. It wasn’t until 1993, more than a hundred years later, before lottery sales were permitted here again.
Chapter 16-12-20 of the State Statutes defines an illegal bet as follows:
“Bet” means an agreement that, dependent upon chance even though accompanied by some skill, one stands to win or lose something of value…”
This pretty much covers all forms of land-based gambling. Laws on internet gambling in Georgia are a little less clear. There are no specific laws here that mention the specific legality of playing through online casinos in GA.
Many states around the country are beginning to expand their gambling operations. Most of these states are profiting massively as a result. Lawmakers in Georgia are now considering allowing certain forms of gambling, as well.
Gambling Options in Georgia May Soon Become Available
This week, politicians in Georgia discussed the pros and cons of opening the state’s gambling industry. It’s clear that lawmakers in this state recognize the huge earning potential from the gambling industry. Several are now pushing for sports gambling to become legal here.
PASPA was struck down in May of 2018. Now, every state in the country has the ability to set its own laws on sports gambling. Many states now have fully-regulated sports betting options available. Several of these states are now profiting massively from this industry.
Georgia State Senator Brandon Beach recently opened a meeting to discuss legalizing this highly popular industry. He also feels that legalizing sports betting will open a new discussion on the gambling industry as a whole.
“So I thought, when that happened, it would be important for us to not only look at sports betting, but a holistic approach to gaming. If we’re going to look at sports betting, we should look at the whole gaming industry,” Beach said.
Georgia’s Governor, Brian Kemp, is fiercely against the gambling industry. Recently, however, he claimed that he would not stand in the way of casino legalization if the money goes towards education. That’s great news for gambling operators looking to break into the Georgia market.
Gambling Revenue Could be Used to Fund HOPE
There are still a number of steps that need to be taken before any real forms of gambling can be legalized here. The governor wants to ensure that all revenue earned from the industry would be used to help fund education. Recently, lawmakers here discussed plans to use gambling revenue to help pay for the HOPE scholarship program.
The HOPE program first started in 1993. It’s a Georgia-run scholarship program that rewards students with financial assistance at eligible universities and technical colleges. This program is entirely funded by the Georgia state lottery. Lawmakers are now claiming that expanded gambling options in Georgia would help to bring hundreds of millions of dollars to this program.
In order for casino or sports betting options to become available here, voters in the state would need to approve the measures. Next, two-thirds of the state’s Legislature would need to agree to change the state’s constitution. Finally, a bill would need to be presented that details exactly how much gambling operators would be taxed.
It may be years before any new gambling options in Georgia become available. Fortunately, lawmakers in this state are beginning to take a closer look at this industry.
Do you think casino gambling or sports betting will become available in Georgia? Let us know in the comment section below!