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Georgia Sports Betting Updates

Sports betting is illegal in Georgia. Both retail and online sports betting is unavailable in GA, but lawmakers are trying to push through legislation allowing the introduction of betting in the Peach State.

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Sports betting sites are not available in Georgia. However, sports fans in GA can play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games on the sites listed above.

Contents

Georgia Sports Betting Summary

Online and retail sports betting are illegal in Georgia, but lawmakers have been trying hard to pass wagering legislation. Led by Representative Ron Stephens, three sports betting bills have been submitted since 2020. SB 142 progressed the furthest of these bills and would have handed regulatory power to the Georgia Lottery Commission. The bill passed the Senate in 2021 but failed to make it through the House in 2021 and 2022.

Online sports betting has been the lawmakers’ primary focus, with all three bills including mobile wagering. However, SB 142 also included retail sports betting at locations licensed to serve alcohol. These kiosks and betting windows would operate on behalf of the Lottery Commission.

Gambling is currently illegal as a part of Georgia’s constitution, although the lottery is permitted. Tickets can be bought online or at retailers. You can also play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games. Lawmakers aren’t clear on whether a sports betting bill would need a public vote, but SR 135 failed to bring this to the 2022 ballot. The following ballot is in 2024, which could derail attempts to pass sports betting legislation in 2023.

Read our complete guide to Georgia sports betting and learn about the latest legislation, likely regulations for sports betting, and places you can visit to bet legally.

Georgia Online Sportsbook Summary

Lawmakers in Georgia are keen on bringing online sports betting to the state, with all recent wagering legislation including online betting. SB 142 failed to pass in 2021 and 2022 but had the backing of the Senate in both years. Rep. Stephens is likely to support future attempts to add Georgia to the list of legal betting states after submitting multiple bills in the past three years.

If online sports betting is legalized in Georgia, FanDuel will likely be a strong contender to launch in the state as the company has just set up an IT center in Atlanta. This center, which will create 900 new local jobs, shows the sportsbook's interest in the region. Along with FanDuel, other major sportsbooks such as DraftKings, BetMGM, and Caesars would also be expected to go live.

You can’t wager on horse racing in Georgia, but you can play DFS games. Top providers like FantasyDraft, Boom Fantasy, Yahoo!, and ESPN are all available.

If you want to place legal online sports bets, you can visit neighboring Tennessee which offers a mobile-only betting market. There are nine sportsbook brands in TN, including Caesars, Barstool Sportsbook, and SuperBook. Alternatively, you can head to North Carolina for retail sports betting.

Who is Eligible to Bet in Georgia?

If Georgia sports betting is legalized, lawmakers are expected to introduce similar rules to those present in nearby states. You will likely need to be 21 or older to place bets and you must stay within the state’s borders to use any online sportsbooks.

In addition, the individuals listed below are likely to be ineligible to wager on sports:

  • Athletes, coaches, or members of any professional sports team.

  • Referees for professional and college sports leagues.

  • Individuals with the professional authority to influence players.

  • Individuals employed by the leagues that create rules for sports (e.g., NFL, NCAA).

  • Individuals employed by organizations with licensing from the Georgia Lottery Commission (or the state’s official regulatory body), including key staff, owners, directors, and officers.

  • Individuals with non-public information about a sports team (e.g., player medical records).

  • Individuals that have voluntarily excluded themselves from gambling activities.

  • Individuals prohibited from betting on a state or federal level (e.g., due to criminal history).

  • Individuals with a stake in a sports team.

Latest Georgia Sports Betting Updates

All sports betting is illegal in Georgia. There have been attempts in 2020, 2021, and 2022 to legalize sports betting, each one getting closer to passing. While gambling is illegal as a part of the Georgia constitution, lawmakers are unclear on whether a public vote is needed to legalize wagering. Passing sports betting without a public vote would open the legislation to a legal challenge. Another attempt at passing legal sports betting will likely be made in 2023, although the bill may not gather as much support in a year without a ballot.

Timeline for Sports Betting in Georgia

  • March 31, 2022: SB 142 dies on the House floor for the second year. There is a vote on SR 135, but all sports betting-related content is removed from the bill and replaced with legislation about logging.

  • March 26, 2022: With one week left of the Georgia legislative session, Rep. Stephens resurrects SR 135 and SB 142, which the Senate approves.

  • March 31, 2021: None of the sports betting bills are voted on by the close of the legislative session.

  • March 5, 2021: SR 135 and SB142 pass the Senate and move onto the House.

  • February 20, 2021: Senator Jeff Mullis introduces SB 142 to legalize online and retail sports betting in Georgia. He also presents SR 135, a motion to add sports betting to the November 2022 ballot.

  • January 26, 2021: Rep. Stephens introduces HB 86, or the Georgia Lottery Mobile Sports Wagering Integrity Act. This bill gives the Georgia Lottery the power to regulate sports betting in the state. Under terms of HB 86, all college sports betting would be prohibited. The bill passes a committee and returns to the House.

  • February 21, 2020: SB 403, a bill to legalize online sports betting through the lottery, is introduced to the Senate. The bill is referred to a committee and receives no further attention.

  • May 14, 2018: The US Supreme Court overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). This allows individual states to decide whether to legalize sports betting.

Georgia Sports Betting Background

Georgia has traditional views on gambling, with its constitution banning casinos, sports betting, and pari-mutuel wagering. The only form of gambling that is legal is the lottery, which was launched in 1992.

From 2020 to 2022, there have been three attempts to legalize sports betting. While none of these efforts have been successful, each bill has progressed further than the last, with the most recent SB 142 passing the Senate.

Future of Georgia Sports Betting

Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has been vocal in supporting sports betting in Georgia to fund the HOPE scholarship program. This may provide the push the state needs to get sports wagering legislation over the line. In addition, Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston said there is an “appetite” to get sports betting legalized.

However, if the state follows the route of putting sports wagering on a ballot, the earliest betting can be legalized is on the November 2024 ballot. While lawmakers may push to pass legislation in 2023 without a ballot, this may not gather as much support as it would leave the legislation open to a legal challenge by opponents.

Georgia’s Sports Betting Locations

There are no casinos in Georgia, and there have been no attempts to legalize casinos as a part of launching sports betting. It’s improbable that land-based casinos with retail sportsbooks will be constructed in the near future.

If bettors in Georgia want to place retail sports wagers, they need to travel to North Carolina. Caesars operates two land-based casinos in the west of the state. Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino is the closest of these and is roughly a two-hour drive from Atlanta.

Georgia Lottery Locations

The Georgia State Lottery was launched in 1992 and is currently the only legal form of gambling in the Peach State. You can buy lottery tickets online or at retail locations across the state. Lawmakers have been pushing for the Georgia Lottery Commission to be the state’s sports betting regulator.

While current legislation doesn’t plan to launch sports betting at lottery retailers, locations that allow people to buy and consume alcohol can apply for a Type B retail license. These licenses enable these locations to launch betting kiosks and betting windows on behalf of the Commission.

Off-Track and Stadium Betting Locations

SB 142 intended to legalize sports betting at locations with a retail consumption dealer license or a retail dealer license. Sports venues with bars selling alcohol would be eligible to launch a retail sportsbook. However, this bill died on the House floor in March 2022.

Pari-mutuel horse racing betting is illegal, and there are no off-track betting (OTB) locations. Horse racing is not unlawful, but there are no racetracks around the state. Instead, you can find horse races at county fairs. However, horse racing tracks and pari-mutuel horse racing betting may come to Georgia soon if SB 212 passes. This bill will legalize wagering on races and commission five horse racetracks to be built.

Georgia Responsible Gambling Resources

  • Georgia National Council for Problem Gambling –Provides state-wide problem gambling support resources, a 24/7 live chat, and a helpline available. (800) 522-4700

  • Gamblers Anonymous – Operates meetings where problem gamblers can share their experiences, a 12-step treatment program, and a screening test. (855) 222-5542

The Georgia Lottery has a voluntary self-exclusion program that players can use to prohibit themselves from playing. The Georgia Lottery Commission will likely oversee sports betting in the state and could implement this system for bettors. Online sportsbooks will also be expected to bring responsible gambling measures like account limits and time-outs.

Teams to Bet on in Georgia

  • Pro Sports

Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1966 and have won six division titles and two conference championships. Both Falcons’ Super Bowl appearances ended in disappointment, losing Super Bowl XXXIII to John Elway’s Denver Broncos and Super Bowl LI in overtime to the New England Patriots. The Falcons led the game against the Patriots 28-3 before conceding 31 consecutive points to the Tom Brady-led opponents.

Atlanta Hawks: The State Farm Arena hosts the Hawks’ home games in the Eastern Conference Southeast Division of the NBA. As of August 2022, the Hawks have the second longest period of not winning an NBA Championship after the Sacramento Kings. After drafting Trae Young in 2018, the team won a division title and made the conference finals in 2021.

Atlanta Braves: With four World Series victories, 18 National League Pennants, and 21 division titles, the Braves are among the most successful MLB franchises. Their most recent World Series came in 2021 with a 4-2 series victory over the Houston Astros. Jorge Solar was awarded the World Series MVP after a blistering series, scoring three home runs. The Braves are famous for their between-innings entertainment, with ‘The Freeze’ challenging fans to race around the ballpark.

  • College Sports

Georgia Bulldogs: A powerhouse of US college sports, the Bulldogs represent the University of Georgia in the SEC. The school has won 47 National Championships, and alums have won 56 Olympic Medals. The football team receives support at the 92,000-capacity Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium, with the most recent of their three National Championships coming in 2022 for beating 1st seed Alabama Crimson Tide by 33-18.

Georgia Southern Eagles: Playing in the Sun Belt Conference, the Georgia Southern University Eagles have 17 varsity teams. The Eagles are cheered on by their two mascots: Freedom the (live) eagle and GUS the (costumed) eagle.

Georgia State Panthers: The Panthers represent Georgia State University and have 16 varsity teams competing in the Sun Belt Conference. The Panthers men’s basketball team won the conference tournament in 2015, 2018, 2019, and 2022. In each of these years, the Panthers made it to the NCAA Tournament, picking up a first-round win against 3rd seed Baylor in 2015.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: Georgia Institute of Technology, better known as Georgia Tech, is represented by the Yellow Jackets in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Georgia Tech shares a fierce football rivalry known as ‘Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate’ with their near neighbors, the Georgia Bulldogs. While the Bulldogs lead the all-time series 69-41-5, the Yellow Jackets hold bragging rights with four National Championships in football compared to the Bulldogs’ three. The Yellow Jackets football team also has the record for the highest football score ever, beating Cumberland College Bulldogs by 222-0 in 1916.

Kennesaw State Owls: The ASUN Conference hosts the Owls from Kennesaw State University. The Owls became a Division I school in 2010 after a four-year transition from Division II. While the Owls have won five Division II National Championships, they have yet to win one at the Division I level. The baseball team has made the NCAA Regional postseason tournament twice, and 32 Owls have been selected in the MLB draft.

Mercer Bears: The Bears compete in the Southern Conference and represent Mercer University. Cheered on by mascot Toby the Bear, 17 varsity teams play in the university’s distinctive black and orange colors. The Bears men’s basketball team has made the NCAA Tournament three times in their history. Their most recent appearance was in 2014 when they recorded a first-round upset victory over 3rd seed Duke.

  • Women’s Sports

Atlanta Dream: The Dream was founded as an expansion team in the WNBA in 2007. They have won three conference titles but are yet to win the WNBA Championship. They lost the 2010 finals to the Seattle Storm and the 2011 and 2013 finals to the Minnesota Lynx. The team plays at the 5,000-seater Gateway Center Arena.

How Does Georgia Compare to Other States?

  • Market Coverage

Neighboring states Tennessee and North Carolina show a glimpse of what a sports betting market in Georgia could look like, with betting options on the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. Sportsbooks in these states also offer various betting lines on niche sports like European soccer and NASCAR. Sportsbooks in NC also accept player props and other wagers on college sports.

  • Competitive Odds & Prices

Some of the top US sportsbooks would be expected to launch in Georgia if online sports betting is legalized, and these betting brands offer the same odds across dozens of states. For example, FanDuel operates in some of the most competitive markets in the US, such as Colorado, New Jersey, and New York. The odds from those states would also be available in GA. The sportsbook has been noted for its generous total betting lines on NFL games.

  • Gambling Revenue

With a population of around 11 million and three major league sports teams, Georgia is missing out on substantial potential sports betting revenue and taxes. Michigan makes an excellent comparison to GA, with a population of roughly 10 million and four major league sports teams. As of July 2022, Michigan has handled $6,800,583,733 in bets, the 8th most in the US. Sportsbooks have taken revenue of $535,380,996 from this. Michigan has a betting tax of 8.4%, and the state has collected $17,598,879.

Considering Georgia’s slightly larger population, the state could expect to collect similar figures if it legalized online and retail sports wagering. Retail sports betting may be taxed higher than in Michigan if provided by a Georgia Lottery Commission sportsbook, so the potential for tax revenue may be even higher.

  • Betting Taxes

Every US bettor must pay taxes to the IRS, regardless of their state. You must declare all your gambling winnings and complete a W-2G form if you win more than $600. Sportsbooks can also hold up to 25% of your winnings to comply with US tax laws. Sports betting winnings need to be included in your state income tax payment, which varies from 1% to 5.75% in Georgia, depending on your income.

There is an excise tax of 0.25% on every sportsbook’s monthly betting handle paid according to the Internal Revenue Code. The Code also requires betting brands to pay $50 for every employee involved in taking bets.

Who Oversees Sports Betting in Georgia?

The most likely sports betting regulator if sports betting is legalized in the Peach State is the Georgia Lottery Commission. The Commission was named as the regulator in SB 142, the state's closest attempt at legalizing sports betting to date. The state’s regulatory body would be responsible for creating and enforcing the safety rules for wagering in GA. This includes deciding which sportsbooks get licensed and testing betting sites for financial security.

In addition, the Georgia Lottery was named as a sportsbook operator for retail wagering. Locations serving alcohol could launch betting kiosks and windows for the lottery. The Commission would need to set up the infrastructure to operate its betting system, including odds and bet markets.

FAQs

Is betting legal in Georgia?

No, sports betting is not legal in Georgia. Lawmakers have introduced sports wagering bills every year since 2020, but none have been successful yet. The two most recent bills passed the Senate but did not receive a vote from the House.

Who would govern sports betting in Georgia?

The Georgia Lottery Commission is the most likely organization to regulate sports betting in GA. SB 142, which the Senate approved in 2021 and 2022, names the Georgia Lottery Commission as the state’s sports betting regulator.

How old would you have to be to bet in Georgia?

Georgia is likely to follow other US states and makes its minimum sports betting age 21 or older. Before wagering, you will almost certainly have to verify your age with a valid photo ID.

When will sports betting launch in Georgia?

The earliest sports betting can be legalized in Georgia is during the 2023 legislative session. However, as the illegality of gambling is in GA’s constitution, a public vote may be needed to launch wagering. The next ballot is in November 2024.

Where will I be able to bet on sports in Georgia?

The most recent legislation has tried to legalize statewide online sports betting so that you can wager anywhere in Georgia. In addition, the state’s regulator may license retailers who can serve alcohol to provide retail betting kiosks and windows. These retailers would operate sports betting on behalf of the Georgia Lottery Commission.

Will sportsbooks in Georgia be safe?

If sports betting is legalized, the Georgia Lottery Commission will likely be responsible for regulating every sportsbook that launches in the Peach State. The regulatory body will need to test every betting site’s financial security and data protection before accepting any license applications.

Would I have to pay taxes on betting winnings in Georgia?

Yes, all sports bettors in the US need to declare gambling winnings to the IRS. You need to fill out a W-2G form if you win more than $600. Your betting winnings also need to be included when completing your state income tax.

Can you play DraftKings in Georgia?

No, you can’t bet with DraftKings in Georgia, but the sportsbook is available in neighboring Tennessee. However, you can use DraftKings to play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games in GA.

Can you play FanDuel in Georgia?

You can’t use FanDuel Sportsbook in Georgia because wagering is illegal. However, you can play FanDuel Daily Fantasy Sports or visit Tennessee to use FanDuel’s betting app.

Can you play BetMGM in Georgia?

No, you can’t play with BetMGM in Georgia. The closest state where you can use BetMGM is Tennessee, where you can download its betting app on Apple and Android devices.

Can you play Caesars in Georgia?

Sports betting is illegal in Georgia, and so Caesars Sportsbook is unavailable. You can travel to Tennessee to bet with Caesars online or visit North Carolina and its two retail sportsbooks.

Can you play TwinSpires in Georgia?

No, you can’t bet with TwinSpires Sportsbook in Georgia. You also can’t use the brand’s online horse racing betting. TwinSpires is currently shutting down its sportsbook in several states.

Which sportsbooks will be available in Georgia in the future?

FanDuel is a firm favorite to launch in Georgia if sports betting is legalized. The company has announced plans to build an IT hub in Georgia and create 900 jobs. DraftKings is another favorite, thanks to its Daily Fantasy Sports presence in the state.