In a new twist to efforts to legalize sports betting in Georgia, and eventually casinos to follow, it appears that efforts for 2023 may well be dead in the water, for now at least.
There was a hive of activity to expand gaming in the state, with the public in Georgia largely approving of the move, but the GGA (Georgia General Assembly) has seemingly opted to hold up such moves.
Five items of legislation were put before the assembly, but they haven’t moved ahead and look likely to not do so in 2023.
In 1992 the state authorized the state lottery, and in 2021 the state’s lawmakers passed a gaming expansion bill that only covers charitable gaming and bingo, but not sports betting or casino gaming.
Last October, a poll conducted by the University of Georgia found that more than 60% of Georgians approve of opening up sports betting and casinos in the state, but such moves are now very much on hold.
The lack of movement has led to a great deal of consternation within the body, with Sen. Bill Cowsert (Republican) stating;
“I don’t get why it’s wrong to let the people vote on this issue. We’re not all petty dictators up here,”
Representative Ron Stephens (Republican) presented two bills last year and is very much counting on the state to follow the lead of many others that have opted to legalize casino and sports betting activity.
This sentiment has been echoed by the Sports Betting Alliance, an advocacy group, which stated;
“Currently, Georgians can only place bets with illegal offshore sports betting websites – unsafe and illicit enterprises that do not offer consumer protections and provide no benefit to Georgia communities.”
“Georgia residents deserve a safe, responsible, and legal sports betting market.” the SBA added.