Georgia lawmakers review possible legalization of sports betting with bill HB86 after last year’s failure
Republican Ron Stephens (pictured) has re-initiated discussions to legalize sports betting in Georgia over second time.
Stephens is supported by 5 other co-sponsors and has managed to draft and submit bill HB86 through the Georgia Lottery in hopes of legalizing sports betting.
Stephens had already tried to legalize them in 2020, however his efforts were in vain and was seen by many as an ambitious attempt to outline unrealistic measures.
Stephens had called for a referendum while also calling for the creation of a gambling commission that would ultimately approve and oversee all gambling-related issues.
However, Stephens’ Hail Mary attempt for Georgia sports betting failed. Still, there is a common feeling that this year’s bill has a better chance.
This time around, HB86 outlines simple policies that would legalize six online-only sports bets with remote registration. If the number of applicants does not meet the ‘six’ benchmark, licenses will be limited, although this should not be a problem.
The feeling that there will be more than enough applicants is due to the fact that the southern states, near Georgia, are left out of the legalization of sports betting. This means that legal online sports betting in Georgia could attract interest from other neighboring states like South Carolina and Florida.
The project we have proposed has a 16% betting revenue tax, while operators who want to focus on sports betting would have to pay an annual fee of $900,000 along with the $50,000 application fee.
Sports betting providers will also be required to be able to use official data from the US major leagues to write in-play bets.
Georgia’s four professional sports teams (Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta United FC and Atlanta Falcons) have called for sports betting to be legalized within the state