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Fiona Simmons December 8, 2023 3 min read
Senator Beach Wants to Legalize Gambling in Georgia
The Senator plans to propose his legislation on the first day of the 2024 legislative session
To this day, Georgia remains one of the most gambling-unfriendly states in the US. However, pro-gambling advocates seek to change that as they believe that launching casino gaming and sports betting would bring tons of benefits to the state.
Senator Brandon Beach is one of the most avid supporters of gambling in Georgia. He commented on the matter during the recent Joint Committees on Economic Development and Tourism meeting, saying that he plans to introduce gambling legislation for the next legislative session.
The legislation would allow locals to vote on a constitutional amendment that would usher in casino gaming, sports betting and pari-mutuel wagering. Beach said that the legalization of gambling could generate as much as $900 million in taxes annually. According to him, this money would support the state infrastructure, healthcare initiatives, education and gambling addiction treatment.
In addition, the legalization of sports betting would bring other benefits and will help the state attract major sporting events.
Beach clarified that he doesn’t want to create a Vegas Strip-style destination but rather to allow the creation of casino resorts that would attract tourists and create multiple new jobs. This format would also nurture the economy through non-gambling means since resorts usually sport many shops and restaurants.
The Senator also pointed out that Atlanta lacks nighttime activities, which is another thing that casino resorts could change.
Under Beach’s proposal, Georgian gambling would be regulated by a new commission under the Georgia Lottery Corporation. The Senator plans to propose his legislation on the first day of the 2024 legislative session. Beach also noted that dozens of states already allow betting, meaning that Georgia is missing out on millions of dollars in revenue.
Georgia Is Missing Out on Thousands of Dollars
The future of gambling in Georgia remains uncertain as opposition is still strong. Because of that, a previous effort to legalize betting was shut down by the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee, preventing the measure from reaching voters.
Supporters of gambling have argued that thousands of dollars are drained from Georgia each weekend as gamblers visit Alabama and Mississippi to wager instead. According to proponents of the industry, legalizing gambling would allow Georgia to keep much of this money.
This was already proven in Nebraska as its fresh gambling industry allowed it to retain many customers who would previously go to gamble in Iowa. While this trend means bad news for Iowan casinos, it would allow Nebraska to remain competitive and channel consumers’ money toward its own economy.