Georgia remains one of the few states that don’t approve of gambling yet. However, this might change soon. The demand for gambling and betting services has been growing exponentially over the past few years both in the US and on a global level. Some legislators believe it would be reasonable to legalize and tax this sphere for the benefit of society.
The Current State of Gambling In Georgia
Right now, no casinos or bookmakers are available in Georgia (we are talking about both online and offline formats). People who would like to satisfy their adrenaline cravings can resort to just one option: the Georgia Lottery. In the past three decades, it has funded over $23 billion for the improvement of local education. The lottery is 100% legal — but it might fail to deliver such vivid emotions as poker or live football betting. When you buy lottery tickets, you need to rely on pure luck. You don’t need to build winning strategies, search for no deposit casino bonus codes for existing players or follow the news of the selected sports discipline — and this largely deprives lotteries of their gambling appeal.
Only five other states are that restrictive toward gambling: Hawaii, Vermont, Kentucky, Utah and South Carolina. As for the others, their regulations might vary — but they normally allow their residents to use the services of casinos and bookmakers (even though there might be limitations). Legal and regulated gambling can quickly become beneficial for the state’s economy. Plus, people won’t need to resist the temptation of using the services of illegal bookmakers and casinos.
Caesars Entertainment, Bally’s Corporation, Wynn Resorts and some other big names of the gaming industry have made a statement about the upcoming legislative session in Georgia. Their representatives have said that they will be monitoring the situation — and will act immediately, should gambling be legalized. The thing is that Georgia is the eighth-most populated state in the USA. Its Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is the largest airport in the whole country. Thanks to the new legislation, Georgia might become a popular gambling and betting hub — if its authorities finally give green light to this type of entertainment.
Why Is Georgia Against Gambling?
Traditionally, this has been one of the most conservative states. Local residents are deeply religious and support the Republican party. For people of the older generation, the idea of legalizing betting and gambling might seem straightforwardly scandalous. They associate this type of entertainment with sin, destruction and immoral behavior.
The good news is that Georgia doesn’t need to be the pioneer of the sphere. It can safely copy the best practices that other states have introduced long ago. These practices include the following:
- The verification of gamblers’ identities (to make sure that each client has already come of age and uses their own funds to place bets)
- The specifics of carrying out financial transactions
- Prevention of gambling addiction and fraudulent activities
- Audit of gambling and betting service providers
Based on the experience of other states, local authorities should be able to make the sphere transparent and reduce any potential risks to a minimum.
What Do Georgia Lawmakers Say?
On January 10, 2022, the General Assembly’s reconvention will begin. The legislative session will last for nearly three months. Local lawmakers will try to explain to their colleagues the importance of introducing new legislation that aims to legalize commercial gambling.
One of the politicians who feel optimistic about the upcoming negotiations is State Rep. Ron Stephens. He has long supported the idea of legalizing gambling in Georgia — and he is glad that now, the change might be likely to take place. In an interview with Capitol Beat News Service, Stephens emphasized that people have a right to decide whether they would like to gamble legally or not. He characterizes the current situation as encouraging — even though all the previous attempts to legalize money-based games in this state have failed.
Professional sports teams in Atlanta believe that sports betting should enhance fan engagement. Plus, the new legislation should make sporting events more enjoyable to viewers. Atlanta United, the Braves, Falcons, and Hawks have unanimously supported the idea of legalizing gambling.
Rep. Alan Powell is more critical. He doesn’t support online betting because this sphere is too automated and will hardly create any new jobs for locals. Yet he has nothing against live casinos because they will create new jobs for hundreds of people. Powell understands why the above-mentioned teams would love to let people place bets at the stadiums during live events — because that would improve the overall experience.
Rick Lackey, a real estate developer from Atlanta, says that gambling and betting fans from Georgia never had to give up entirely on their hobby. They simply visit gambling institutions in neighboring Alabama, while the Georgian economy keeps losing this money.