Sports Betting Measure Dies in Georgia

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:
Mar/30/2024

With papers tossed in the air and shouts of “sine die,” the 2024 legislative session finally came to a close around 1 a.m. Friday. And with that end comes no sports betting expansion despite attempts to push through legislation.  Gambling911.com is here in Georgia this weekend.

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In the end lawmakers could not agree on how to spend the funds collected in the form of taxes.  Democrats were especially critical on this front.  Without Democratic votes, a constitutional amendment couldn’t achieve the two-thirds majorities needs to pass the House and Senate.

"I'm glad and thankful,' remarked Mike, an Atlanta-area bookie who uses Pay Per Head software provided by AcePerHead. "I do feel that having DraftKings and similar apps here might cut into my business."

In a twist of irony, sites like DraftKings still advertise heavily in the state and certainly draw attention to sports gambling.

"Folks here can't bet on these apps so they look towards other avenues like locals," he said.

House Minority Whip Sam Park, a Lawrenceville Democrat, voted to advance Senate Resolution 579 and Senate Bill 386, but told the Associated Press he and other Democrats were reluctant to support the bills passing as they’re currently written. That’s because the House committee changed the measure to allow taxes to be deposited for the use of HOPE college scholarships and pre-K classes.  Some Democrats wanted the money to be used for college financial aid. 

“It deviates from the bipartisan compromise in the state Senate that prioritized funding for voluntary pre-K,” Park said.

“This allows us to get those people off an illegal market into a legal market, allows us to regulate it and tax it, and take care and protect Georgia citizens,” said Rep. Marcus Wiedower, a Watkinsville Republican sponsoring the measure in the House.

Not this year though and those looking to bet the Georgia Bulldogs in 2024 will have to wait at least another year to do so with a regulated sportsbook.  Of course, local bookies and offshore betting sites are still accommodating to their needs.

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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