October 26, 2022 3 min read


Georgia Poll Suggests Insufficient Support for Sports Wagering

Georgia is one of the US states that is still to legalize online sports betting and casinos and the results of a recent poll suggested the measure would likely not gain the votes if it is to be on the 2023 ballot.

Sports Betting in the Balance

The poll from the School of Public and International Affairs Survey Research Center at the University of Georgia and commissioned by the Georgia News Collaborative found the public split on the question of sports betting legalization and favoring casino gambling, reported local news outlet GPB.

Of the 1,030 likely voters surveyed, 45.6% would likely vote to legalize sports betting in Georgia while 42.6% would vote against it, while 11.8% remained undecided. A majority of likely voters, 59.7%, will likely support casino gambling, while 29.1% will oppose it and 11.3% are undecided.

The poll results would be bad news for the sports teams in the state that have been collaborating on an effort to pass a gambling bill in the state legislature for several years, seeking new ways to engage with their fans believing that sports betting creates an emotional attachment.

Legalizing gambling would require an amendment to the state constitution and a two-thirds vote of each legislative chamber to put the measure on the 2023 ballot and there were high hopes that 2022 may finally be the year that will see the measure getting traction.

Legalizing online wagering on sports would be worth it revenue-wise as neighboring Tennessee has generated $439.2 million from November 2020 through July 2022 and many believe that Georgians’ sports wagering is now generating revenue elsewhere.

Punters Place Wagers Elsewhere

The media interviewed several survey respondents and one of them who would vote in favor of sports betting explained at large how people circumvent geolocation restrictions by using a virtual private network (VPN) to place bets in Nebraska and other states, generating tax money for other states.

Another respondent favoring the legalization of sports betting outlined that it is an entertainment that makes sports more fun and is likely to compete for money spent on other types of entertainment. The respondent also noted that the lack of legal sports betting in Georgia was the reason for his non-participation for years.

A third respondent who would vote against the measure stated that “sports gambling just takes away from the game itself,” sharing an opinion that it is not right to gamble on college kids while they are trying to get an education.

The respondent also pointed to the risk of organized crime coming into high school sports and college sports should not be neglected as “there is always room for something to go wrong with that.”

Contrary to the survey results, the Georgians interviewed by the media expressed their reservations about legalizing casinos, arguing that casinos suck the life out of small businesses and that if there is one in the state, they are not likely to visit it.

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