Georgia’s State House and State Senate have rejected two separate sports betting bills.
This means that Georgia’s betting dream of a state-run casino is now dead, at least until the 2024 Georgia legislative session.
Bill Cowsert, the Republican Majority Leader and primary sponsor of the Senate bill, was very focused on changing the Constitution of Georgia so that the legislature could pass laws.
This would have enabled the state to offer sports betting.
Georgia currently prohibits gambling operations. However, there is an exception for lotteries.
The bill, titled Senate Resolution 140, was not able to get the required two-thirds majority for amendments to the state constitution. It was therefore defeated by 30-26 votes.
If the resolution had been passed, sports betting would be on the November 2024 ballot.
The amendments to Senate Bill 172 – which lays the details of the state’s regulatory system in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated – were not directly voted down. However, it is unlikely that they will be voted on any further.
Cowsert’s vision for sports betting would have allowed both online and retail betting to be legalized in the state. The annual licensing fee for digital operators would be $1m.
The tax rate would be 25% for gross gambling revenue from parlay, live and prop bets. All other sports betting revenue would be subject to 20% tax. To oversee the activity, a new body was created, the Georgia Sports Betting Commission.
After last week’s defeat by Senate Bill 57 in committee, the failure of the twinned Georgian bills to authorize sports betting has also stalled the chamber.
In the House
In that it attempted to amend the OCGA without constitutional amendment, the Senate’s attempt to pass sports betting was different from the Senate’s.
House Bill 380, which is led by Republican Representative Marcus Wiedower, would have made sports betting a lottery and gave additional powers to the Georgia Lottery Corporation.
Wiedower’s proposed law did not apply to online betting and was intended to impose 25% tax on all sports betting revenue.
Before Monday night, the bill was defeated in committee.