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Gambling in Georgia

With a long conservative history in Georgia, online gambling has unsurprisingly been heavily restricted in the past. However, shifting attitudes to gambling and legalization in neighboring states has caused Georgian lawmakers to look to changing their laws too. New votes are on the horizon in 2020 so it might not be that long before sports betting and other forms of gambling become legal in the Peach State.

With a long conservative history in Georgia, online gambling has unsurprisingly been heavily restricted in the past. However, shifting attitudes to gambling and legalization in neighboring states has caused Georgian lawmakers to look to changing their laws too. New votes are on the horizon in 2020 so it might not be that long before sports betting and other forms of gambling become legal in the Peach State.

Available in this state

Online Sports Betting Georgia

Many types of sports betting are currently banned in this state. However, gambling in Georgia might be changing soon. Atlanta is home to several powerful US teams including the Braves of the MLB, the Falcons of the NFL, the Hawks of the NBA, and Atlanta United FC of the MLS. The state has also hosted several championships including the Olympics, the Super Bowl, and the annual PGA Masters. On top of this, there are many college sports events and heated collegiate rivalries competing across Georgia. Sports betting through illegal means is thought to be worth about $1.5 billion currently; revenue that could benefit the state if regulations were introduced.

State Senator Burt Jones has recently filed Bill 403. It is currently headed to a Senate committee for review. While it was thought that sports betting would require a constitutional amendment through a voter ballot, SB 403 avoids this by giving control of Georgia’s sports betting to the state lottery. It would also offer just eight licenses to sports betting companies but will allow sports betting through mobile devices or apps. To be able to take part in sports betting, Georgia residents will need to be 21+ and located within state borders.

This legislation is backed by Atlanta’s four major sports teams, but it is unclear how it will do as it heads to government. Many in power have unfavorable stances to the legalization of gambling in Georgia, but pressure from the sports teams might prove to be key in swaying opinions. You will be able to follow the full progress of SB 403 on this page.

Online Casinos Georgia

Just as with sports betting in Georgia, online gambling at casinos has been restricted. While there are no explicit laws outlawing play at online destinations, state law does firmly ban bets placed on any game played with dice, cards, or balls. You can play coin machines at many convenience stores throughout Georgia. Though they are like slots, they do not pay out real money, only credit for the store. There are also no tribal casinos in this state.

If you want to play casino games, you either need to jump on the Emerald Princess Casino Cruise out of Brunswick or cross a state border to a neighboring state that offers play at casinos. Some offshore sites try to claim that players from Georgia can join their sites. However, only sites that are regulated by the state government can ever truly be considered safe. These overseas sites are not regulated so Georgian players should not sign up to them. There is always a chance that these sites might sell your data or withhold your winnings. No state regulations mean you might not have a governing body to turn to if you need to contest something.

Legislators did attempt to introduce a bill that would allow two “destination resorts” in Georgia. This bill, proposed by Senator Brandon Beach and Representative Ron Stephens, died off early on its journey.

With the legalization of sports betting on the way, the conversation about casino gambling in Georgia might strike up again. If any new bills are introduced to change legislation, you will be able to follow them here.

Online Poker Georgia

Despite several big players in poker circles emerging from the Peach State, restrictions surrounding poker in Georgia are as strict as ever. Since wagers on card games are banned in Georgia, online gambling sites that offer poker are not valid places to play.

Some online sites claim to offer American players the chance to play online poker. Georgia residents should not take up these offers as the sites are not regulated by the state. There is always a chance that players could end up on the wrong side of the law or they could even lose money through the site’s practices.

For now, those wishing to play online poker should wait until the law changes. The conversation is moving towards a more positive stance on gambling in Georgia. If an online casino bill is introduced, it will likely cover online poker in some capacity. You will be able to follow the progress of any such bill introduced on this page.

Daily Fantasy Georgia

Like in many other states, daily fantasy sports in Georgia exist in a legal grey area. There are no laws explicitly banning operators but there are also no laws making this type of gaming fully legal and regulated. With a negative stance taken by Georgia’s Attorney General’s office, it might be a while before we see some sort of true fantasy sports legalization take root in the Peach State.

Despite this stance, several operators do offer fantasy sports. Georgia residents can currently take part in games from DraftKings and FanDuel. Legalbetting’s stance is that these games are not strictly legal. It would be better to wait for changes to the law so players could enjoy fully regulated games. Previous bills have been introduced to try to legalize daily fantasy sports such as HB 118 in 2018. Though these have failed, there is a chance that the legalization of sports betting could reopen the conversation about daily fantasy sports.

If a new bill is drafted to regulate daily fantasy sports in Georgia, you will be able to follow its progress here on this page.

Online Lottery Georgia

The Georgia Lottery was introduced after a voter-approved constitutional amendment in 1992. Players can enjoy several daily draw games in addition to keno. The Georgia Five jackpot draws twice daily and has a top jackpot of $10,000. Players can also enjoy the multijurisdictional games Cash4Life, Mega Millions, and Powerball.

You must be 18+ and located within state borders to be able to purchase lottery tickets. These tickets can be bought from official retailers all over the state of Georgia. Online lotto tickets can also be purchased through the official lottery website or the app if you are a member of the free Georgia Lottery Players Club. Joining the club also gives you access to exclusive events, coupons for games, and second-chance drawings.

Other Important Gambling Facts Georgia

Unlike other states that have allowed pari-mutuel betting on horses and dogs, gambling in Georgia has always been heavily regulated. The only form of “gambling” that has been legal in Georgia for a long time has been charitable bingo games. State regulations only allow a maximum of $1500 per session or $3000 a week in prizes. There are bingo halls all over the state that run games every day.

In 2019, the Lottery gave 26.6% of its revenue to the Lottery for Education Account. This equaled approximately $1.2 billion. This money is then given to pre-K programs throughout the state and the Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally (HOPE) scholarship. Since the lottery started giving money to the HOPE scholarship, $10.8 billion has been shared amongst more than 1.9 million recipients.

If Jones’s sports betting bill makes it through to law, the Georgia Lottery will be the governing body in charge of regulating sports betting throughout the state. Sports betting companies will pay a 20% tax on their income. From this revenue, 95% will go to the state’s HOPE scholarship and the remaining 5% will go to funds for addiction treatment.

The failed daily fantasy sports bill HB 118 would have taxed fantasy sports operators at 6%. The revenue generated here would have gone back into state education programs as is proposed with SB 403. Should a new fantasy sports bill be introduced, the regulations will likely take a similar structure.

Gambling Georgia Conclusion

Though the situation might seem bleak in Georgia, online gambling might be closer than we think. SB 403 could introduce legal sports betting to the Peach State and open the doors for other types of betting too. Georgia might make some serious changes to its stance on online gambling soon.

FAQS

In Georgia, online gambling in all its forms is heavily restricted. Online sports betting, casino play, and poker games are all banned.

Though the game of poker is not explicitly banned, placing wagers on a game of cards is. Therefore, poker is not offered anywhere in Georgia.

You cannot use the FanDuel sportsbook as sports gambling in Georgia is currently illegal. You can access FanDuel’s fantasy sports, but these exist in a grey area and are not explicitly legal.

No, horse betting is not legal in Georgia.

Author

Jennifer Marsh

Jennifer is constantly on the lookout for the latest updates on US gambling legislation. She has a soft spot for blackjack and poker, but spends a lot of time writing about other facets of the online gambling world as well.

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