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Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Georgia Eyes $400M Annual Boost As Sports Betting Bill Gains Steam

  • The state’s Senate Economic Development Committee approved Senate Bill 57 by an 8-1 vote.
  • The Georgia Lottery Corporation would oversee the state’s legal sports betting infrastructure.
General view of the Georgia state capitol building in Atlanta.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia is one step closer to finally legalizing sports betting.

The state’s Senate Economic Development Committee approved Senate Bill 57 by an 8-1 vote, sending it to a full vote.

The Georgia Lottery Corporation would oversee the state’s legal sports betting infrastructure, essentially adding it to the list of games already authorized by the creation of the lottery in 1992.

As a result, the state would not have to amend its constitution to legalize sports betting — it could become law without any vote from the general public and would need only a simple majority from both the state Senate and House.

SB 57 would legalize betting both online and at in-person kiosks — which could be deployed at a variety of businesses, including sports venues.

Sports gambling reached an all-time high in 2022.

Expanded Legal Betting Access Leads to Record Year

It’s a whopping 72.7% increase from 2021’s record of $4.3 billion.
February 16, 2023

Per the bill’s chief sponsor, Sen. Billy Hickman, 20% of the adjusted gross income raised by legal sports betting would go to the Georgia Lottery Corp. to benefit education.

Hickman recently claimed sports betting could generate $300 million to $400 million annually for the state, as well as creating $1 billion in state economic impact and more than 8,500 jobs.

Georgia has been in this position before and has a long way to go before sports betting actually legalizes: The state Senate introduced bills in 2021 and 2022 — with the former actually passing the Senate — but neither made it into law.

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