Delay to Legalization of Online Sports betting in Georgia

More and more US states are legalizing gambling, especially regarding online sports betting. However, it seems that gamblers in Georgia may have to wait a little longer for legalization of sports betting.

You would imagine that a country like the US would be seeing gambling already legalized. That isn’t the case though and has been for many decades. It used to be that the Federal Government were the ones that decided on the legalization of gambling.

A long campaign took place to try and change this situation. It was a tough battle with opposition from the sports themselves, fearing their integrity could be hit if gambling was legalized. Finally, in 2018 a US Supreme Court judge ruled that the decision over legalization would be made by individual states not the Federal Government.

This led to a situation where many US residents opened up off shore accounts so they could gamble on top sports such as American Football, baseball and basketball. That was ok but If any fraud took place, there wasn’t protection against it.

Since then, plenty of states have either legalized gambling or are in the process of doing so. It’s not a case of them loving gambling, the desire is to get their hands on the tax revenue gambling brings. That’s even more important as states find their finances being hit by the pandemic.

The state of Georgia has been making strides towards legalizing online sports betting in their state. However, this looks as if it will be delayed due to political arguments. Democrats in the state are withholding their support for any bills requiring bipartisan support. That will make it difficult for some bills to become law and the sports betting bill is likely to be delayed.

It seems that the Democrats are upset at the Republicans (who have a majority in the Georgia House and Senate) taking action that may affect the amount of access the public has to voting. All a bit confusing but calls for photo ID requirement and bans on ballot drop boxes is a reaction to the chaotic 2020 US Presidential Election.

Truth is the Republicans are still in a foul mood over losing the White House. This political war isn’t going to help them getting legislation passed.

It’s House Bill 86 that if passed would finally see sports betting in Georgia legalized. A vote on the Bill was due to take place on Thursday 25 February but it didn’t take place. For the Bill to become law, it would need some support from the Democrats.

There is a Republican majority but not all of the party want this Bill to be passed. Opposition is coming from the religious and conservative factions in the Republican party. The prospect of millions of dollars in tax revenue struggles to outweigh the opinions that gambling is still immoral and unethical.

That’s a blow not just to those wanting to be placing bets but the gambling companies preparing to open online sportsbooks. Companies such as William Hill, 888sport, DraftKings and FanDuel have been making big moves to forge a strong position in the expanding US gambling industry.

All that can happen in Georgia now is for the current row between the Democrats and Republicans to heal. That might take some time.