Georgia Senate moves forward bill to regulate sports betting

February 2, 2024
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The measure will allocate the proceeds to student financial aid programs.

The Georgia Senate has passed Senate Bill 386 to regulate sports betting in the state. 

Last month, the Bill moved to the Senate with Georgia voting 8-4 in favor of sports betting, with sports teams, lawmakers and business leaders pushing for sports betting to be legalized. 

In the Peach State, the only form of legal gambling prior to this was lottery and charity bingo, but now the passing of this bill has paved the way for sports betting to be legalized with the Bill now set to be considered by the Georgia House of Representatives. 

Reports have said that a constitutional amendment would give Georgia voters the final say was added at the last minute. 

The measure was sponsored by Senator Clint Dixon and the proceeds from it will be allocated to student financial aid programs, including the Hope college scholarship and Georgia Pre-K programs. 

Senator Dixon said: “In passing SB 386, we’ve paved the way for responsible and regulated sports betting in Georgia. As our state evolves, it’s crucial to acknowledge the existing landscape with neighboring states already engaging in this activity.

"With millions in potential revenue, SB 386 ensures that these funds contribute to the growth of Georgia, supporting essential programs such as the Hope scholarship and pre-kindergarten initiatives.  

“By implementing safeguards, like prohibiting credit card use for betting and providing tools for self-limitation, we prioritize responsible gambling. The bill’s bipartisan support exemplifies a united commitment to the well-being of our citizens and the prosperity of Georgia’s future. SB 386 is more than a legislative milestone; it’s an investment in education and our economy.” 

In related news, last week, the North Carolina State Lottery Commission set a date for the beginning of legalized sports betting in the Tar Heel State, which will open on March 11. 

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