One Step Closer to Legal Sports Betting
Alright folks, buckle up because we’ve got some spicy betting news from Georgia’s Senate. They just gave the thumbs up on Senate Bill 386, paving the way for sports betting and online gambling in the state. But surprise! There’s a wrinkle in the story.
So, the vote was 35-15 in favor of the bill, and it’s now heading to the House for more chit-chat. But here’s where it gets interesting. See, 34 senators thought, “Hey, why not toss in a constitutional amendment requirement?” Sneaky move, right? Now, that means they need a whopping 38 votes to seal the deal.
BREAKING NEWS: The Georgia State Senate passes Senate Bill 386, which would legalize sports betting in Georgia.
BUT, it was amended to include the need for a voter-approved constitutional amendment.
— Rahul Bali (@rahulbali) February 1, 2024
Now, why all the fuss, you ask? Well, it seems like Georgia lawmakers are torn like a pair of old jeans on laundry day. Some are all for legal gambling, while others are giving it the side-eye. This back-and-forth dance has killed similar bills in the past, including last year’s attempt.
But here’s the kicker: supporters say we don’t need no stinkin’ amendment! They reckon sports betting can cozy up under the Georgia Lottery umbrella. After all, voters gave the thumbs up to the lottery back in ’92, so why not add a little sprinkle of sports betting magic to the mix? That means the cash flow could be directed straight to pre-K classes and HOPE Scholarships.
Senator Clint Dixon from Buford is all about that money talk, predicting a cool $100 million or more in state tax revenue every year. And he’s not stopping there. His bill wants to see the lottery’s $2 billion reserves getting a trim, giving those programs even more dough to play with.
Comment from Georgia Sen. Clint Dixon on the passage of SB386, his bill to legalize sports betting in the state. pic.twitter.com/1xiSOtp48Z
— Steve Bittenbender (@BittGDCG) February 1, 2024
But not everyone’s singing the same tune. Some are eyeing that constitutional amendment like a cat eyes a mouse. They reckon Georgia voters never had sports betting on their minds when they ticked “yes” for the lottery. And denying a statewide vote? Well, that’s just plain sneaky, according to Senator Bill Cowsert.
Now, before you go placing your bets, let’s talk turkey about the nitty-gritty. The proposed bill wants to slap a 20% tax on those winnings, but hey, a little tax never hurt nobody, right? And when it comes to snagging a license, it’s like a VIP party. One goes straight to the Georgia Lottery, while the rest are up for grabs by the pros like the Braves, Falcons, and Hawks.
So, what’s next? Well, the House has the floor, and it’s their turn to chew the fat on this bill. Will they give it the green light or leave it gathering dust in the corner? Only time will tell, my friends. But one thing’s for sure: Georgia’s got its eyes on the prize, and that prize might just be a winning ticket to betting online in the near future.
For gambling news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.