Lawmakers in Georgia are in the process of taking the necessary steps before legalizing gambling in the state.
Georgia Lawmakers Consider Legalizing Gambling
Georgia is one of the few states in America that has not legalized gambling, but that might soon change. While there are still plenty more steps to take before the state allows its residents to legally take part in various forms of gambling, it seems that lawmakers are on their way to a regulated gaming market.
The state has a long history of not allowing its residents to gamble, and it was only in 1992 that Georgia decided to allow a state-run lottery to operate. Now, a Senate study committee is in the process of considering what needs to happen in order to pose the question of expanded gambling to voters across the state.
Senator Brandon Beach, who is the chairman of the Senate study, says:
“I have been very up front since the beginning that I wanted to create jobs with these two industries, especially the horse racing industry that I’ve been passionate about in building an equine industry.”
Support for Gambling in Georgia
There is plenty of support for the legalization of gambling in Georgia. Many sports franchise leaders have sent letters to make their cases, including the Presidents of the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Braves. Among other arguments, their letters include the point that state residents are gambling illegally in light of Georgia’s ban on the activity:
“Georgia is the 12th largest state for illegal wagering. It is not going away. That is why we must ensure the industry is above-board and transparent.”
It seems that continuing to restrict gambling will be counterproductive in Georgia. Players across the state will find ways to play casino games, despite the local laws. Many will sign up to offshore casinos, and engage in illegal gambling which ends up putting them at danger.
While offshore casinos are regulated in places like Malta and Gibraltar, they are not licensed locally. This means that the online casino operators are still accountable to the authority that licenses them, but players living in the United States may not be able get the help they need if they ever get into a dispute with the casino.
Should gambling be legalized in Georgia, sports betting alone is expected to generate $50 million in gross revenue per year. This money would be a huge benefit to the state, as gambling revenue could be used to fund scholarship and other education programs.
There is still a long way to go before Georgia legalizes gambling, but it looks likely. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as the laws develop.