Exploring Options for Establishing a Thriving Sports Betting Landscape in Georgia

Despite Georgia’s failed efforts to legalize sports betting during its 2023 legislative session, there is still hope for those who desire to legally wager on college and professional sports in the Peach State. Recently, five state Senators have introduced a measure to establish a sports betting study committee, Senate Resolution 394. This bipartisan statute is sponsored by four Republicans and a single Democrat, and its primary mission is to determine whether a constitutional amendment is necessary to permit sports gambling.

The issue has stirred debate among state lawmakers, as Georgia is one of the most restrictive states when it comes to permissible gaming. Currently, the only forms of legalized gaming in the state are the state-run lottery and certain charitable games.

In early March, the Senate rejected a bill that would have allowed online sports betting and in-person wagering at self-service kiosks, while a similar bill stalled in a House committee. Additionally, a Senate resolution to place a legislative-led ballot referendum asking Georgians if they want to allow sports betting also stalled in committee.

Should SR394 find support in the Senate and House chambers, and eventually be signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, a 10-member sports betting study agency will be formed. The group would have until December 1 to present the state with its conclusions and make legislative recommendations.