Lawmakers, residents continue push to legalize sports betting in Georgia

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 6:26 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Georgia is one of the biggest sports states in the nation but, gambling on sports here is illegal.

Some folks, however, are hoping to see that change.

Last year two bills, presented by Representative Ron Stephens, were shot down by Georgia’s state legislature.

Stephens has expressed, however, that he’s hoping to reintroduce something this legislative session that would make betting on sports legal here.

The push to legalize sports betting has been popular since a 2018 Supreme Court ruling opened the option for states to allow it.

One of the main talking points for supporters: Georgia would benefit from the tax money made from sports betting.

Now, if you want to use an app like DraftKings or FanDuel to place bets, you have to go to a state where it’s legal.

WTOC caught up with some Savannahians to see what they thought about possibly being able to legally bet on sports.

“My team went 11-4 this year, so I would’ve won a lot of money. And two, I don’t see why anybody gets mad about us spending the money that we work for,” said Tremell Grady.

”I don’t think there’s a problem with it, obviously with all the regulations and whatever. Like, I’m from Michigan and it’s legal there. And I don’t see any problems happening with society in Michigan since it’s been legalized,” said Seamus Mahoney.

Aside from individual people, there’s also an advocacy group dedicated to legalizing sports betting in all 50 states called the Sports Betting Alliance.

They represent companies like FanDuel and Draft Kings.

They sent the statement below:

“We look forward to working with the legislature to establish a safe and responsible online sports betting market in Georgia. In over half the country, legal online sports betting platforms are providing fans a safe and responsible way to place bets -- all while generating significant revenue for state and local priorities. Currently, Georgians can only place bets with illegal offshore sports betting websites -- unsafe and illicit enterprises that do not offer consumer protections and provide no benefit to Georgia communities. Georgia residents deserve a safe, responsible and legal sports betting market.”