February 15, 2023 3 min read


Georgia Lawmakers Continue to Push for Sports Betting Legalization

The efforts to legalize sports betting in Georgia continue with different bills gaining traction in the House and Senate, a new report reveals

Georgia is one of the eight US states that is currently trying to legalize sports betting. The statewide expansion of the activity began with the US Supreme Court striking down PASPA back in 2018. Since then, 34 US states have legalized and launched some form of sports betting, while three states have legalized wagering but are yet to launch it, data by the American Gaming Association reveals.

Now, according to a recent report by the Associated Press, two bills, proposing the legalization of sports betting are gaining traction in Georgia. One of the proposals, Senate Bill 57, sponsored by Sen. Billy Hickman, a Statesboro Republican was heard at a Senate committee on Tuesday this week.

That proposal calls for the establishment of sports betting licenses. At the same time, Senate Bill 57 calls to include wagering on horse racing as well. The bill proposes to establish three horse racing tracks enabling statewide betting on the activity.  According to Brandon Beach, the chairman of the Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee, next week, it is likely the Senate to vote on the bill.

On the other hand, another proposal is also calling for the legalization of sports wagering in Georgia. On Monday, House Bill 380 was introduced. Backed by Rep. Marcus Wiedower, the new proposal calls for the legalization of sports betting, without mentioning horse racing. The House is likely to vote on this proposal later this week but it still remains unclear if the bill will gain further traction.

Betting Legalization via Constitutional Amendment Will Be Difficult

For years, different proposals have called for the legalization of betting in Georgia, yet, none have made it to the finish line. A prime challenge to the legalization of the activity is the existing regulation that is active in the state. Ultimately, lawmakers in the state are trying to include betting on sports under the lottery.

This is the easiest method to push forward the activity as it avoids the complex process of a constitutional amendment. Besides a majority in both chambers, a constitutional amendment requires the approval of a majority of voters of the state. However, keeping in mind the fragmented opinions in either chamber, legalizing sports betting through a constitutional amendment will likely be more difficult. Moreover, recently, lawmakers have concluded that sports betting can be legalized as a part of the lottery, creating an easy way for the activity.

The two separate proposals calling for the legalization of betting in Georgia represent a clear sign that lawmakers have not given up on legal wagering. Whether or not any of the new proposals will gain further traction remains to be confirmed.


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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