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Georgia's sportsbetting debate back on the table in 2021

Georgia will start the new year by revisiting a number of bills as the state look to follow a number of other states in legalising sports gambling

Back in 2019 a bill was introduced in Georgia which saw a growing interest in online gambling, specifically sports betting rather than casino games. The state’s bill has proposed a regulated industry with federal-issued licenceswith no more than ten permits allowed. The draft is still under consideration, with the debate surrounding sports gambling set to return in January 2021, when the state’s General Assembly is back. 

Representatives of Georgia are fully confident that sports betting will be legalised. According to the Savannah Morning News, the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee chair said: 

“If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen in this next session. The people want it; opinion polls and more importantly public hearings show that. It’s time the legislature give Georgians that opportunity.” 

Representative Ron Stephens (pictured) has been a vocal supporter of the legalisation of gambling for a number of years but his attempts to push through the bill has always found lawmakers obstructing its advancement, despite all the economic benefits gambling would Ron Stephensbring to Georgia. 

Another supporter of the legalisation of gambling is Representative Calvin Smyre, who thinks that the legalisation: “requires heavy lifting, and heavy lifting always requires bipartisanship. I think we have that muscle right now.” 

 Out of all the possible gambling related bills being examined, the sports gambling bill is expected to receive the most backing, which is not surprising as the year of 2020 has seen a number of states push through with the legalisation of sports betting and online gambling. States have started to realise that whether it is legal or not, people will still bet using offshore operators.

Therefore, by legalising gambling, states will be able to capitalise on tax revenue, which is one of the most popular reasons why so many states have had a sudden change of heart on gambling restrictions. Having said that, there are still a number of challenges that the state of Georgia may face, which could delay any legalisation in the near future. 

Source: Calvinayre

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