Legal Gambling May Come to Georgia
There is good news for gamblers in Georgia with the state considering expanding legalized gambling through a constitutional amendment.
Since the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, lawmakers in each state can decide on gambling legalization. Since then, more than twelve states have already legalized some form of sports betting or casino gambling, and Georgia looks set to join the trend.
There have been many previous attempts in Georgia to legalize gambling, but so far, they have all failed with not even sports betting allowed. Even if two-thirds of representatives of the House pass a bill, it still needs to win in the Senate, after which, residents of the state would then have to vote for or against it in a referendum.
However, there is now some hope. There were reports that on Wednesday 3 March, lawmakers in the General Assembly approved a constitutional amendment that will ask Georgians to vote on gambling expansion in the state.
Thanks to this, residents may be able to vote on the expansion of pari-mutuel betting on horseracing, sports betting, and casino gambling. However, a lot of work lies ahead and the referendum is unlikely to take place until November 2022.
The initial version of the constitutional amendment only proposed casino gambling, and it was introduced in January. However, it has now been expanded to cover all of the areas outlined above. If all were to be legalized then there would be major benefits for the state. The current version of the resolution proposes tax revenues from sports betting being used to fund scholarships while casino and pari-mutuel betting taxes will help to fund health care.
The expansion could also help to generate jobs in the state, which has been suffering economically due to the pandemic, and it will also help to prevent players turning to the black market.