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Georgia Sports Betting Bills Fail to Move Forward

In the United States of America, the public’s desire for regulated sports betting oftentimes trumps their lawmaker’s abilities to move forward the legislation required to sustain regulated sports betting. Nowhere is that dynamic more clear than in the state of Georgia, where lawmakers recently failed to come up with a sports betting bill that they could all agree on. The result is that Peach State players will have to wait at least another year before they can place legal bets on sporting events.

Late last week, Georgia lawmakers failed to move forward Senate Bill 386 and Senate Resolution 579, effectively killing any movement on the issue until the next legislative session. SB 386 was aimed at regulating online betting, while SR 579 put the implementation of those regulations in the hands of Georgia voters.

Lawmakers have offered a dizzying array of suggestions for how sports betting revenue could be used by the state in hopes of winning over reluctant legislators, but nothing has stuck. Those ideas have included everything from doling out 35 percent of sports betting taxes to the state’s poorest households; to using five percent of the money to bring the Super Bowl to the state; and even sending 80 percent of revenue to fund kindergarten and preschool in the state. But none of these proposals bore fruit.

In comments reported on by SBC Americas, Rep. Kasey Carpenter commented on the potential benefits of any of the aforementioned plans saying, “This is an opportunity to tax a certain person that is currently probably not getting taxed in the lottery system. It’s going to provide funds that aren’t being provided for education in the long run and it will be better for all Georgians.”

No matter what the benefits of regulated sports betting might be, the people of Georgia won’t be seeing them anytime soon.