Georgia lawmakers to discuss online sports betting again next session

Though a sports gambling bill has come up previously at the General Assembly and always failed, it could be considered again soon.

The Georgia House Economic Development and Tourism Committee plans to talk about legalizing online sports betting once again during the next legislative session.

“These things (gesturing with a smartphone) weren’t even invented way back at the time whenever we started the gaming scenario. So electronics has come a long way. We’ve had the request from all of our major league teams, you know, baseball, football. They all want it for fan engagement,” House Chair, State Rep. Ron Stephens (R) of Savannah told Channel 2′s Richard Elliot. “It’s a time that we need to just ask the folks if this is what they want. More and more states are doing it. So, the question is, is it time?”

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Every year Georgia lawmakers attempt to expand gambling, but none of those efforts have succeeded since the state lottery was approved by voters in 1992.

If it were to pass, the Georgia Lottery would administrate online sports betting to people 21 and older who are physically in the state.

“We’re not asking for bricks and mortar,” Stephens told Elliot. “The truth is, it’s just another lottery game. So, it’s one of those things where you’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, but you’re allowing the lottery commission to use a game, just another lottery game if you will, for about another $100 million in revenue for some HOPE (scholarship) and pre-K that may be needed down the road.”


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