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Might Standalone Sports activities Betting Invoice Change Outlook In Georgia?


The College of Georgia’s soccer staff gained the nationwide championship Monday night time, profitable by 58 factors. The Bulldogs simply lined the 13.5-point unfold, setting a report for the biggest margin of victory in any bowl recreation.

Whereas Georgia gained, Georgians weren’t in a position to legally wager on Stetson Bennett and the Bulldogs. Sports activities betting is not but authorized within the state, though legislators are anticipated to debate the subject in coming weeks.

The state’s legislative session started Monday, setting the stage for dialogue of sports activities betting laws. No payments associated to sports activities wagering have been filed as of Wednesday morning, however a sports activities playing proposal is predicted to be filed early on this 12 months’s session.

2022 evaluations

Rep. Ron Stephens was amongst these main a push to legalize sports activities betting in Georgia in 2022, however his efforts fell brief. his proposed constitutional modification was gutted in the direction of the tip of the state’s legislative session, as a substitute changed with a invoice associated to timber tax.

Georgia legal professionals, together with Stephens, have tried for just a few years to legalize sports activities playing within the state. Even after falling brief in 2022’s legislative session, Stephens mentioned final 12 months that the push is coming nearer to a breakthrough.

“It is altering, and I can see it altering,” Stephens mentioned in April. “We’re getting nearer each time that we speak about it. It is coming.”

Prospects for 2023

The 2023 legislative session lasts by way of the tip of March, giving legislators just a few months to method the subject of sports activities betting.

Beforehand, legislators like Stephens tried to cross a constitutional modification to legalize sports activities betting. That is a problem, as a constitutional modification would require a two-thirds majority in each the Georgia Home and Senate earlier than stepping into entrance of voters.

Apparently, sports activities betting authorized skilled Daniel Wallach not too long ago shared on Twitter that he believes Georgia may legalize such wagering by way of a separate invoice. Wallach believes a standalone sports activities betting invoice can be thought of totally different from one that features on line casino playing legalization, which might require a constitutional modification in Georgia.

Given the talent concerned with sports activities betting in comparison with, say, slots, there’s an argument that it falls exterior the state structure’s anti-gambling provisions. In different phrases, if a legislator decides to file a separate sports activities betting invoice, it will solely require a easy legislative majority as a substitute of a constitutional modification to legalize sports activities betting.

Axios reported that there’s a renewed push amongst stakeholders to go the standalone route, leaving on line casino playing and horse racing language out of the invoice and making the state lottery the sports activities betting regulator. New Lt. Gov. Burt Jones is a supporter of authorized sports activities betting, and he has historical past with standalone laws on this subject, proposing a invoice in 2020 that would not have required a constitutional modification. A separate invoice is hardly a certain factor to cross given a few of the ethical objections to betting within the state, however avoiding a constitutional modification appears to extend the possibilities of legalization.

“I have been constant concerning the optimistic return and revenues that secure, safe and authorized sports activities betting may generate for our state — and look ahead to working with the Common Meeting to hopefully make it a actuality this upcoming legislative session,” Jones not too long ago advised the Atlanta Journal-Structure.

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