Georgia’s lawmakers revisit potential legalisation of sports betting with Bill HB86 after last years failure
Republican Ron Stephens (pictured) has restarted discussions to legalise sports betting in Georgia for the second time.
Stephens has the backing of 5 other co-sponsors and has managed to draft and file legislation HB86 through the Georgia betting lottery with the hope to legalise sports betting.
Stephens had already attempted to legalise sports betting in 2020, however, his efforts were fruitless and were seen to many as an ambitious attempt outlining unrealistic measures.
Stephens had called for a referendum whilst asking for the creation of a gaming commission which would ultimately approve and oversee all gambling related issues.
However, the attempt titled as the “Hail Mary” by Stephens for Georgia sports betting failed but there is a common feeling that this years’ Bill stands a better chance.
This time around, Bill HB86 outlines straight forward policies that would legalise six online-only sportsbooks with remote registration. If the number of applicants does not meet the ‘six’ benchmark then licences will be limited, although this should not be an issue.
The feeling that there will be more than enough applicants is due to the Southern states, near Georgia, being left out of sports betting legalisation. This means that legal online sportsbooks in Georgia could attract interest from other neighbouring states such as South Carolina and Florida.
The proposed bill dedicates tax on sports betting revenue to 16% whilst operators with a focus on sportsbook would need to pay an annual retention fee of $900,000 along with an application fee of $50,000.
It will also require that sportsbooks are permitted to use Major US sports leagues official data to draft in-play bets.
All four of Georgia’s professional sports teams – Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta United FC and Atlanta Falcons – are all calling for the legalisation of sports betting within the state.
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