Legislators in Georgia are proposing proposals to legalize sports betting and horse racing without a change to the state constitution, claiming that these activities fall under the purview of the state lottery.
House Bill 380, which would exclusively permit sports betting, was introduced on Monday, February 13, 2023 by Watkinsville Republican Rep. Marcus. The House and Senate are pursuing separate routes. A Senate committee held a hearing on Senate Bill 57, which would specifically classify horse racing as a form of sports gambling, on Tuesday. Additionally, three horse racing venues with statewide betting would be permitted under that law, which was introduced by Statesboro Republican Senator Billy Hickman.
House Bill Amendment
Under the House proposal 16 companies would receive sports betting licenses which includes The Georgia Lottery Corp., The Professional Golfers’ Association, and the Masters golf tournament. There would be seven licenses set aside for bookmakers like FanDuel and DraftKings.
Bets would only be accepted from persons who are physically present in the state and above 21. Operators of coin-operated amusement devices, which are often found in convenience stores, would also receive licenses.
With regard to sports betting, the Senate bill contains several elements that are identical. It would not, however, permit bookmakers to deduct credit for free bets offered to gamblers, in contrast to the House bill.