Georgian residents are known for loving their sports, and the state is home to a few notable professional and collegiate teams. With that, the question looms: Is sports betting legal in Georgia?
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Georgia Sports Betting Legalization Timeline
2018-2019: Early Opportunities Left on the Table
Most states with large sports fan bases should be jumping at the chance to legalize sports betting. But unfortunately, Georgia just isn’t jumping yet. Their betting laws are quite restricted as of now, and since PASPA was reversed in May of 2018, little has been done to move toward legalization.
2020-2021: Bills Introduced, but None Become Law
A bill was submitted in early 2020 which would authorize the Georgia Lottery to regulate online sports betting products. The bill calls for online sportsbook betting companies to pay a tax worth 20% of their income, with five percent of that going towards a scholarship fund. Interestingly enough, this legislation is backed by the Georgia Professional Sports Integrity Alliance which includes all professional teams in Atlanta, Georgia. The Georgian sports betting market is estimated to be worth more than $1 billion, leading many decision-makers to open their eyes to the potential.
In 2021, Georgia considered another bill that would have legalized sports betting, but it has been relegated to 2022. It is unclear if they will have the votes to pass it then either.
Legal Georgia Gambling Options
There are few options for gambling in the state of Georgia. No casinos to gamble at, not even a tribal casino insight. Georgian residents currently have to leave the state to gamble on anything – casino games, sports, horses, you name it.
Like Florida, Georgia has the casino boat loophole going for them. Cruise ships like the Emerald Princess Casino is a gambling paradise and allows bettors to sail out into international waters where betting is technically legal and the games can begin. There is no mention of sports betting on these boats, but there are plenty of casino games to get in on.
Georgia is behind many states in regard to general gambling, not to mention sports betting. Tribal casinos have been seeking approval for the past few years and still nothing – so we don’t expect them to budge on sports betting in the near future.
Can I bet on sports in Georgia?
That is the million-dollar question. Obviously, you are unable to bet at a physical sportsbook in Georgia, because if there isn’t a legal casino in the state, there isn’t going to be a sportsbook.
But, you are technically allowed to bet on sports online. Online sportsbooks are a great option for Georgian residents because they’re simple, easy to use, and available from any computer or smartphone.
The gambling laws in Georgia predate the internet, so there is no mention of online gambling. There are no immediate plans to change the laws – so signing up for an online sportsbook now will allow Georgian bettors to bet on their favorite teams after all.
While there are no land-based casinos in Georgia, they do have a casino cruise boat that travels out into international waters where gambling is technically allowed. International waters are technically only three miles from shore, so it is a quick boat ride before the gambling can occur.
The Emerald Princess Casino is the most popular option for casino boating. Located in Brunswick, Georgia, they offer both daytime and evening cruises, allowing for more opportunities to set sail. They have over 225 slot machines, six poker tables, and 17 table games for gamblers to enjoy.
The minimum age to the board is 18 years old, which is younger than most states' age of majority.
Betting on Georgia Sports Teams
Atlanta is by far the state’s hotspot for professional sports teams.
Georgia is home to the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL, a team that hasn’t received much recognition until their Super Bowl run in 2017, where they blew a lead to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. They are still well-received in the state, though are returning to their old form.
The MLB team based in Georgia is the Atlanta Braves – possibly the most popular major league baseball team of the ’90s. They haven’t had a notable season in over a decade, with only three playoff appearances, and their lone World Series win approaching its 20th anniversary.
The Atlanta Hawks are the lone NBA team in Georgia, and like their other Georgian teams, they’re average. They haven’t had any notable seasons or division titles in years – and their only NBA Finals title was in 1958.
A notable event that takes place in Georgia every year is the Masters – one of the PGA Tour’s four major championships. Taking place year after year at Augusta National Golf Club, it draws in plenty of fans and tourists every April, not to mention plenty of betting dollars trying to predict who the winner of the Masters might be.
Top Online Sportsbooks for Betting in Georgia
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Gambling Laws by State
Find the full list of states with legalized gambling in USA.