Online Sports Betting Could Be Legal in Georgia Very Soon
Sports fans in the state of Georgia could be looking forward to accessing legal online sports betting the coming months. A mobile sports betting bill made it through the Georgia House committee on Tuesday, Feb. 2, giving avid fans of sports betting hope for the near future.
If it continues to gain traction, Georgians may find themselves with a legal online sports betting industry sooner rather than later. The four major league sports teams within the state – the Falcons, Hawks, Braves and Atlanta United – have all been firmly behind an online sports gambling scene in Georgia for a long time.
Lawmaker Ron Stephens has also been pushing for this to become a legal activity within state borders for many years now, too. He says this is required for fan engagement. “They don’t get a penny of the revenue. All this is captured by the state. What they’re looking for exactly is fan engagement especially for the younger generation that’s coming along,” Stephens said.
Stephens went on to state that Georgians spend more than $4 billion per year at illegal gambling sites. It is his opinion that if lawmakers push an online sports betting bill through, the HOPE scholarship could gain more than $40 million a year from revenue as a result.
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However, for as long as Stephens has been an outright supporter of legal sports betting, Virginia Galloway of the Faith and Freedom Coalition has been against it. She still remains of the same mindset, saying, “It’s very addictive. It’s designed to be addictive, and so it’s harmful. Georgians waste tons of money already on gambling. Why would we put ourselves into this?”
Should a bill be passed and signed into law in this session, then online sports betting could come into effect as early as July this year. This would make Georgia the 23rd state to legalize some form of sports gambling.