Gambling Legislation

Georgia gets help in push for legalized online gaming

Georgia gets help in push for legalized online gaming

Georgia lawmakers could advance online gaming next year with the help of Entain

International gaming company and co-owner of BetMGM Online sportsbook, Entain Foundation US, is strengthening its measures to legalize Georgia sports betting, casinos and horse racing.

Entain representatives met in Atlanta with state legislators on Tuesday to draft a proposal to legalize gambling in 2024. Georgia legislators have failed in the last few years in their attempts to legalize gambling, with lawmakers divided on issues such as gambling addiction, distribution of revenue and what types of gaming to allow.

Bill Pascrell, an Entain trustee and partner at the PPAG lobbying firm, revealed that several Georgia legislators requested help to have Georgia become one of the many states with legalized retail and online gaming.

“Georgia, as you can imagine, has politically a lot of issues, including the Trump indictment, so there’s a little bit of a distraction at the moment, but I feel pretty positive Georgia is going to move (betting) on next year along with a few other states,” said Pascrell.

Several gambling bills failed during the 2023 legislative session. The most likely to be passed is retail and online sports betting, as significant conflicts with the public about legalized casinos and pari-mutuel horse racing betting still exist.

One roadblock includes how the tax revenue would be divided, with most lawmakers agreeing the majority should be used for the HOPE Scholarship and Pre-K programs, the primary beneficiaries of the Georgia Lottery.

The Georgia Baptist Mission Board is also leading an effort focused on the problem of gambling addiction. Mike Griffin, a lobbyist for the board, said on Tuesday that sports gambling is very likely to be proposed again in the next legislative session.

Surrounding states have various gambling options, including Tennessee, which has gained $73.7 million in tax revenue since legalizing online sports betting in November 2020.

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