Georgia is starting to warm up its efforts to introduce legalized sports betting. On February 27, the state House of Representatives received a house resolution that would kick things off for the Peach State.
House Resolution 380 doesn’t really do much except start the conversation and make a couple of promises. It’s a plan, really. If passed, the people of Georgia would vote on an amendment to the state constitution, which in turn would allow the General Assembly to create laws for sports betting.
The bill is cosponsored by six representatives, including four Democrats and two Republicans. That bi-partisan support has become typical for most sports betting laws in the U.S., as each state rushes to cash in on additional gambling revenues.
The resolution itself states:
“Proposing an amendment to the Constitution so as to authorize the General Assembly to provide by law for sports betting; to provide for the disposition of licensing and taxation revenues from such activities; to provide for related matters; to provide for the submission of this amendment for ratification or rejection; and for other purposes.”
It goes on to describe the precise amendment they suggest to the Constitution, which is light on details other than funding for educational services, and the exact ballot question voters would see. The rest is left up to a later bill for the state congress to draft.
This is really just the first step in a long process that would see sports betting become legal in Georgia. As of the moment, local press has not picked up the story, and there appears to be no statements from the representatives who’ve sponsored the bill.
Georgia will want to get this rolling fast if they hope to beat out their neighbors to the sweet riches of sports betting tax revenue. Florida has already reached the point of drafting a bill, but will also need to check in with voters before anything becomes law. Tennessee is also considering a bill that would give local communities the right to open up sports betting, if they vote to let it happen.