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Will Georgia lawmakers pass legalized sports betting next year?

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Staff member
Jan 17, 2008
Source - GamingAmerica

Bi-partisan support has increased in the Peach State as the financial benefits of legalization become clearer.
The issue of legal, online Sports Betting is sure to come before Georgia lawmakers next year despite its “quiet” defeat in the state’s last
legislative session, according to Covers. This time, advocates are hoping the massive potential revenue from legalized Sports Betting
will make the measure impossible to reject.

Pro Sports Betting Republican House member Ron Stephens says: “It’s just a shame that we’ve got to wait two more years. If this thing
had gotten to the House, it would have passed and it would have passed bipartisan.”

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Stacey Abrams has made legalized Sports Betting a central part of her campaign platform.
Abrams is seeking to unseat Georgia’s Republican governor Brian Kemp and wants not only to legalize online Sports Betting, but also casino gambling.

The lines have shifted on the issue of gambling in ‘Deep South’ states, as the lucrative nature of gambling lures Republicans away from
their previously entrenched positions. Kemp has not decried sports gambling, just saying he would “work alongside legislative leadership
to determine the best path forward.”

Georgia’s southern neighbor, Florida, is set to launch Sports Betting in 2023, with the Biden administration weighing in on the issue of tribal Sports Betting last month.

Other Southern states have become increasingly relaxed in their approach to legalized Sports Betting recently; for instance,
Tennessee recently allowed an online form of Sports Betting.

Covers' Geoff Zochodne commented: “We’ve reached a point in the US where a majority of states have either legalized or implemented
some form of legal Sports Betting, including Tennessee and Virginia. So it really has been a state-by-state process where each one has
kind of settled on the model that legislators feel is right for them.”

The Mayor of Georgia’s state capital, Atlanta, Andre Dickens has expressed open-mindedness on the issue, saying: “I understand we do
have great operators in this city such as FanDuel and others, that are doing it online and they provide jobs in our community.”