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Legal Sports Betting Back on the Agenda for State of Georgia

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The start of the new legislative session in Georgia brings with it further discussion on the legalization of sports betting in the state.

Sen. Brandon Beach, a vocal advocate for gambling legalization, spoke on the subject at a December meeting of the Joint Committees on Economic Development and Tourism. He emphasized the potential benefits for the state, including an estimated annual tax revenue of around $900 million.

He argued that the money raised could then be used to further education, healthcare, and various infrastructure projects across the state. Beach suggested that there were plans to introduce a bill that would allow Georgians to vote on a constitutional amendment. This change could open doors for legal sports betting, pari-mutuel wagering, and casino gambling in the state.

Another Chance for Failed Bills

The new legislative session provides another chance for previously unsuccessful bills the chance. This means that the state’s lawmakers have another opportunity to advance sports betting legalization.

Rep. Ron Stephens, another supporter of legalizing sports betting, has said that he believes sports betting will certainly be on the agenda for lawmakers this legislative session. He, too, highlighted the financial benefits it would bring, in particular for education.

That’s where we are going with sports betting: to allow these folks, specifically our pro teams, the Falcons, the Hawks, everybody that’s in the state of Georgia (to offer sports betting). They are asking us to allow them to do this. This is just another lottery game. It would add money directly to the HOPE and Pre-K.

Rep. Ron StephensState Representative

Stephens to Resume Last Sessions’ Efforts

Last session, Stephens introduced House Bill 237, aiming to legalize wagering across Georgia and allow up to 16 online sportsbooks under Georgia Lottery supervision. Although the bill did not progress then, Stephens is set to continue his efforts.

This proposed legislation would direct sports wagering taxes into various educational programs, and as such, there will be many hoping that this session’s efforts are more successful than last’s.

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