Georgia House Speaker Proposes Efforts To Legalize Betting On Lives

A few different measures to legalize sports betting in Georgia recently failed at the state’s crossover day. The failures seemed to signal an end sports betting Legalization hopes for the state in 2023.

Despite these failed efforts, House Speaker Jon Burns recently shared comments suggesting that a long-term attempt to legalize sports betting could be made before the end of the legislative session this month. While none of the bills legalizing sports betting made it into the opposite chamber on crossover day, sports betting language could be stapled to another bill that successfully passed last week.

“Last time I checked, we have a 40-day session, and we’re going to have a 40-day session this year,” Burns said at a luncheon at the Atlanta Press ClubPer The Constitution of the Atlanta Journal. “We don’t close the door on anything. We will keep talking.”

Don’t bet on it

While Burns suggests that the sports betting effort is not dead, it would be a big surprise if a sports betting measure were passed in 2023. Neither the House nor the Senate seemed overly receptive to various sports betting laws on crossover day. Would enough change in a few weeks to turn that around?

SB57 failed even before crossover day, partly due to language that would have allowed fixed-odds betting on horse racing.

HB 380a bill that would have been legalized mobile sports betting but not retail betting, wasn’t even discussed by the House of Representatives on crossover day, despite the bill being backed by several major operators. This bill would have allowed up to 16 mobile sportsbooks and the adjusted gross revenues would have been taxed at 25%.

SR140 and its enabling legislation (SB172) faced a long road to legalization because they required a constitutional amendment to legalize sports betting. That effort required a two-thirds majority to pass through each chamber before being presented to Georgia voters in 2024.

Even if sports betting legalization language is added to another bill, lawmakers in each chamber still have to approve it. There is significant debate among lawmakers about the need for constitutional amendment, as well as moral concerns about expanded gambling in the state.

These debates have not disappeared. Are lawmakers ready to revisit the issue after being shot down earlier this month? It seems unlikely, but Burns’ comments give the state’s sports betting supporters a glimmer of hope. Georgia House Speaker Proposes Efforts To Legalize Betting On Lives

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