Georgia Fails to Legalize Sports Betting Again as Legislative Session Ends

  • The Georgia House decided not to vote on two betting bills before the session’s end
  • One would have legalized betting outright, while the other called for a public vote
  • Georgia will likely now not get legal sports betting until late 2024 at the earliest
  • Professional sports teams have long backed the legalization of betting in the state
A failed rocket launch
Legal sports betting will not take off in Georgia in 2022 after no House vote took place on two sports betting bills before the end of the legislative session. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

The wait continues

Legal sports betting in Georgia will have to wait at least another two years. The 2022 legislative session came to an end on Monday with lawmakers failing to pass any sports betting legislation.

Betting fans saw a glimmer of hope last week after the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee reviewed a couple of dormant bills that had received passage in the Senate last year. Lawmakers made some amendments to the legislation and planned to put them up for a House vote.

the legalization of sports betting through the state lottery

One of the bills proposed the legalization of sports betting through the state lottery, while the other bill would have put the question to a public vote in the November ballot. Both proposed $1m license fees, $100,000 application fees, and a 20% tax on sportsbook revenue.

The House decided not to vote on either, however.

A restrictive gambling state

The next chance for Georgia officials to pass a sports betting bill is 2023. Therefore, sportsbooks will most likely not have an opportunity to launch in the state until late 2024 at the earliest, and that’s only if legislators decide to approve the vertical.

Many expressed optimism that legal sports betting would become a reality in Georgia in 2022, with some typically opposed lawmakers even changing their tune. The main obstacle to Georgia betting is the state’s history as a jurisdiction typically opposed to gambling. Opponents to expansion often point toward the risks of gambling addiction.

Due to Georgia’s restrictive gambling sector, sports betting would require a new regulatory structure, meaning a launch would take even longer if legislation gained approval. Tennessee officials had to wait almost 18 months before launching legal betting due to similar issues.

Disappointment for pro sports teams

Professional sports teams in Georgia have consistently backed the legalization of sports betting in the state.

It’s time that we take it out of the shadows”

Atlanta Braves CEO Derek Schiller expressed his disappointment at the failure to legalize the activity in the recent legislative session. He commented: “It’s time that we take it out of the shadows, we regulate it and that Georgia benefits from it in the form of tax dollars.”

The two bills that failed to get passage proposed both retail and online sports betting. Professional sports teams would have had the opportunity to provide both types of offerings.