Georgia Takes the Next Step Towards Legal Sports Betting

In some states, sports betting is legal online, others sports betting is legal at physical sportsbooks, and then it is completely illegal in others. Georgia is one step closer to sports betting as a bill has passed through the statehouse panel. 

What is House Bill 86

The Georgia House Development and Tourism Committee voted in favor of House Bill 86 that would, “provide for the lottery game of sports wagering in this state.” Some notable sponsors to House Bill 86 include six representatives, Ron Stephans, Calvin Smyre, Billy Mitchell, Lee Hawkins, Shelly Hutchinson, and Matt Dollar. 

When Can This Go in Effect?

This bill is in the early stages, but the legalization of sports betting in Georgia could come as soon as this year or 2022. Georgia is a state with a rich history of sports and sports fandom. Georgia is home to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, and the MLB’s Atlanta Braves, to name a few. Other teams include the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream and MLS Atlanta United FC. In Georgia, there will not be a lack of sports hype, and with three major franchises, the legalization of sports wagering will be a massive moneymaker. 

Illegal Gambling

A major reason states that currently do not allow legal sports gambling want to make the change is to eliminate all of the offshore non-legal sportsbooks. Although it is illegal, there are thousands, if not millions, of illegal sportsbooks that take plenty of tax money away from these states. Now, when we speak of tax money, we are talking about millions of revenue that can come to the state from sports gambling. 

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How Much Money?

If we take the time to look at numbers, it votes in favor of legalizing sports betting in Georgia. New Jersey legalized sports betting in 2018, and it has been an absolute hit ever since. In 2019, New Jersey sports gambling exceeded $4.5 billion in generated money from wagering. You might wonder if a number that high could be exceeded; in 2020 New Jersey gamblers crushed that number exceeding over $5 Billion in wagers. No doubt, it is clear that sports betting is a major industry with no cap of how large it can get. 

Endless Opportunities

Legal sports gambling is a relatively new revenue source to states in the U.S. Since Georgia is a state with major sports teams, it will be interesting to see how this can affect the professional sports leagues. Nothing has taken place yet, but it is well known that sports leagues want to get a piece of the pie and get into the sports betting industry. Of course, sports gambling and professional leagues have not had success in the past with gambling, but it will be something to keep an eye on. 

Impact of Georgia

Georgia is making progress no matter what with the passing of House Bill 86. Georgia is covering ground in hopes to get sports betting legal. Are other states watching? Georgia is very close to Florida, which has hopes to legalize betting. Currently, most of the states that have legalized sports betting in some capacity are in the northeast and midwest. If Georgia can legalize sports betting, it will be interesting to see the domino effect that could play out in the southern states. 

Which Companies to Expect?

Some of the sportsbook companies you could expect to want in if Georgia ultimately passes this bill are the following:

  • FanDuel Sportsbook
  • DraftKings
  • William Hill Sportsbook
  • BetMGM 
  • PointsBet
  • BetRivers
  • Unibet 
  • Caesars Sportsbook
  • Barstool Sportsbook
  • FOX Bet