Georgia Republican Politician Pushes for Online and Storefront Sports Gambling

Georgia State Representative Marcus Wiedower (R-Watkinsville) has recently proposed a new sports betting bill that could see online and in-person betting approved in the state. This bill, House Bill 380 (HB 380), has already been met with support from the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Polling data suggests that residents of Georgia are favorable to the idea of mobile sports betting, with the state currently only offering a lottery for regulated wagering.

If HB 380 is passed into law, it will allow for seven permits to be given to traditional online sports betting operators, and the other nine could go to Georgia’s professional sports teams and venues, such as Atlanta Motor Speedway and Augusta National Country Club. Those applying for a permit would need to pay an application fee of $100,000, a yearly fee of $1 million, and a 15% tax rate.

It has been seen that Republican elected officials in the state are shifting their views on sports betting and are open to working with legislators on related legislation. Governor Brian Kemp (R-GA) has previously opposed sports wagering, but is now willing to have discussions about it. However, they have made it clear that they do not support the inclusion of casino gaming or horse racing in the state.