April 1, 2024 3 min read


Divided Lawmakers in Georgia Put Halt on Betting Legalization

The legalization of wagering on sports hit a snag in the state after lawmakers disagreed on how to spend the taxes generated from the activity

Georgia was among a handful of states that were trying to legalize sports betting. Sadly, the efforts toward legal betting died recently, at least for the current legislative season, after lawmakers didn’t agree on how the money collected from the activity would be spent.

Two proposals called for the legalization of betting on sports in Georgia, Senate Bill 386 and Senate Resolution 579. Despite the efforts of supporters from the side of the Republicans and Democrats, neither of the bills was able to accumulate the required two-thirds majority in the Senate and the House in order to proceed.

The latest development means that bettors in Georgia will have to wait a little longer for legal betting. In the meantime, residents who want to participate in sports wagering can do so in nearby Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee. Besides visiting nearby states, many Georgians already engage in betting, but they use the services of illegal operators, warned one of the supporters of the legalization of the activity.

Republican Rep. Marcus Wiedower, who supported the proposal in the House and was recently cited by The Associated Press, spoke about the importance of legal wagering. He explained that the legalization of the activity allows the state to regulate the market and collect taxes. Moreover, Rep. Wiedower said that a legal betting market in Georgia can help protect the consumers.

This allows us to get those people off an illegal market into a legal market, allows us to regulate it and tax it, and take care and protect Georgia citizens.

Rep. Marcus Wiedower

Legislators Disagree on Betting Tax Spending

Currently, nearly 40 US states offer some form of legal betting. While some states offer only retail betting, the majority of them offer both retail and mobile wagering. Taxes collected from the activity help benefit different programs, including educational and municipal, among others.

How to spend the taxes is one of the reasons why the betting proposals in Georgia didn’t pick up speed. Both Democrats and Republicans disagreed with the texts of the two proposals. While some lawmakers supported the idea of dedicating more funds toward pre-K and the HOPE program, others said that financial help for college students is also important.

On the other hand, opponents of legal betting raised concerns about the negative impact of the activity. They said that legalizing wagering on sports would result in an uptick in addictions. In turn, gambling addiction can impact the lives of families and bring unnecessary financial strain.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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