What Is The Status Of Sports Betting In Georgia?
Unfortunately, the status of sports betting in Georgia is that there is no status of sports betting in Georgia. In fact, GA is one of the few states in America where no forms of gambling – except, of course, the state lottery – are allowed. There are no commercial or tribal casinos, there are no racetracks, there is no horse- or dog-racing betting, nothing. Presumably, you could probably get away with making private, social bets with your friends in your basement, but honestly, the only real kind of gambling you’ll come across in Georgia is on the Internet at an offshore sportsbook service like Bovada, SportsBetting, BetDSI, and other top online betting shops.
As such, even though the Supreme Court overturned PASPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992) and thereby allowed states to create and regulate their own sports betting markets, Georgia’s plans for this newfound freedom (and economic windfall) remain shrouded in mystery.
That’s unfortunate, because Georgia is one of the states that would stand to make the most money off legal sports betting. As home to a number of popular, valuable professional sports teams like the NFL’s Falcons, the MLB’s Braves, the NBA’s Hawks, and a number of high-profile NCAA teams (the Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, etc.), the level of sports fandom – and thus the level of sports betting fandom – is extremely high in the Peach State.
Of course, once other states with multiple professional and amateur teams start to realize the immense revenue streams for both themselves and their economies, Georgia will likely consider giving itself a shot in the arm and gear up with legal sports betting. And recently, the erstwhile extra-conservative state has started to entertain the idea of opening a 300-room hotel and racino in the region, having received a study from the Georgia Horse Racing Coalition that pegged that single facility’s economic impact at $1.2 billion annually. The measure is expected to be heard in the legislature come 2019, and it would not be surprising to see sports betting in Georgia tagged onto the proposal.
After all, legal sports betting’s economic impact for the state would be at least 10 times what the racino’s is worth, and once the door is open to that kind of cash, both racinos and sports betting outlets could spread through the state like wildfire. Maybe they’ll even finally allow the construction of proper casinos!
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