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Georgia Sports Betting Updates 2024 - Is Sports Betting Legal in Georgia?

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Georgia Legal Timeline

Feb 13th, 2023
Mar 7th, 2023
Mar 16th, 2023

February 13th, 2023

Lawmakers introduce House Bill 380, which is a mobile-only sports betting bill that will allow for 16 licenses and doesn't require a constitutional amendment.

March 7th, 2023

Lawmakers reject a sports betting bill that needs a constitutional amendment, and another that did not need one. A third was never brought to the House floor for a vote, which signals the end hope for legalized Georgia sports betting in 2023. It appears Georgia will not legalize sports betting any time soon.

March 16th, 2023

Georgia sports betting legalization is still alive for the 2023 session after the Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee amended House Bill 237 to include sports betting. Legalized betting in Georgia is slated to start no earlier than 2024 under this bill.

Is Sports Betting Legal in Georgia?

No, sports betting is illegal in Georgia, however, there is a chance it isn't as dead as many thought because lawmakers have amended House Bill 237 (a soap box derby bill) to include sports betting.

The move came after multiple Georgia sports betting bills failed. The key with the latest bill is it doesn't include a constitutional amendment, which has always been the hot-button issue in the Peach State.

If this bill passes, Georgia sports betting will start no earlier than 2024. If it had needed a constitutional amendement, that would require two-thirds majority vote from both the Senate and the House, plus a vote during the 2024 General Election.

In that scenario, Georgia sports betting would not be able to begin until at least 2025, so the current bill is clearly the prefered path to legal Georgia sports betting.

There would be 16 online sportsbooks permitted - seven of which would reserved for private operators like DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM. The current legislation states Georgia sports betting would be run by the Georgia Lottery, which would receive one license and distibute one each to the state's major pro teams (Braves, Hawks, Falcons, Dream and Atlanta FC).

Augusta National (The Masters), the PGA Tour and Atlanta Motor Speedway will also receive a license. The tax rate would be set at 22% This bill now heads to the Senate for a vote, followed by a House vote.

The legislative session ends on March 30, so if a bill isn't passed by then, sports betting in Georgia might not be legal until early 2024 in the best case scenario (with a launch likely late in 2024).

Georgia Sports Betting Updates 2023

  • March 16, 2023: Georgia sports betting is brought back to life after lawmakers ammend House Bill 237 (a soap box derby bill) to include Georgia sports betting. The bill now heads to the Senate for a vote.
  • March 7, 2023: Lawmakers reject two sports betting bills, ending hopes for legalized sports betting in Georgia in 2023.
  • February 13, 2023: Lawmakers introduce House Bill 380, which is a mobile-only sports betting bill that will allow for 16 licenses and doesn't require a constitutional amendment.
  • February 3, 2023: Georgia lawmakers introduce SB 57, which does not need a constitutional amendment to pass and will allow for 18 online sportsbook licenses - five of which will go to the state's pro franchises.
  • April 2022: The legislative session ends with lawmakers refusing to vote on SB 142, which would have legalized Georgia sports betting and offered 18 online sportsbooks. The news means Georgia sports betting will not be legal until at least 2023 and wouldn't launch until 2024.
  • March 2022: The House Economic Development and Tourism Committee approved Senate Resolution 135 and Senate Bill 142. Both went to the House next.
  • Benefits of Legal Online Sports Betting in Georgia

    The biggest benefit of legal online sports betting in Georgia, under the current proposed legislation, would be the projected $40 million annually in tax revenue that GA legal sports betting will generate.

    The money would help fund the state's HOPE scholarship program and also need-based college scholarships, rural broadband and healthcare programs.

    The other biggest benefit of legal online sports betting in Georgia is it will protect consumers, who are currently using "offshore" betting sites that operate in legal gray area. Georgians reportedly spend roughly $1.5 billion annually on illegal gambling.

    There are a number of pitfalls to this "offshore" approach. These betting sites are not regulated by any government agency. If they were to refuse to pay out on a bet, for example, there would be no recourse for the bettor.

    If and when sports gambling in Georgia is legalized, any Georgia sportsbook will require a government license to operate and will be stringently regulated to ensure that they are following the rules of that license.

    For what it's worth, a 2020 poll from the Atlanta-Journal Constitution showed 57% of voters support sports gambling in GA.

Georgia Sports Betting History

  • 2023: Georgia sports betting is still up for debate after lawmakers revived it by attaching it to a separate bill. Prior to that, three bills were introduced during the 2023 legislative session, but two were voted down and one never received a vote.
  • 2022: Georgia sports betting will not be legalized until at least 2023. SB 142 and SR 135 were both approved by a committee and sent to the House for consideration. However, SB 142 didn't make it to the floor and SR 135 was gutted to include a different matter not related to sports betting.
  • 2021: Georgia lawmakers vote in favor of SB 142, which would legalize mobile sports betting, but can't get a final draft of the bill on Governor Brian Kemp's desk before the session of the legislature ends; SB 130, which would legalize pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing in Georgia, dies without coming to a vote.
  • 2020: SB 403, which would legalize GA sports betting online, dies without coming to a vote.
  • 2018: A Supreme Court ruling makes it unconstitutional for the federal government to ban sports betting, opening the door to legal sports betting in Georgia.
  • 2017: A bill to legalize daily fantasy sports dies in the Georgia Senate before coming to a vote; a bill to bring two land-based casinos to Georgia suffers the same fate.
  • 2002: Slot machines and video lottery terminals are outlawed in the state.
  • 1993: The Georgia State Lottery is legalized.
  • 1976: Charity bingo and raffle games are legalized.
  • 1877: All forms of gambling were outlawed in Georgia.

Will Gov. Brian Kemp Legalize Georgia Sports Betting?

There is now a good chance Gov. Kemp will sign a Georgia sports betting bill if ever comes across his desk, which is a big departure from his previous stance.

That said, Kemp stated in August 2022 that he doesn't think the state can legalize sports betting without a constitutional amendment, so there's a real fear that Kemp might opt to veto any bill that doesn't require an amendment.

Georgia Sports Betting Law

Here's how Georgia sports betting breaks down according to House Bill 237:

  • The Georgia Lottery would oversee Georgia sports betting. There would be 16 online sportsbook (no retail), with seven licenses going to private operators like DraftKings and FanDuel.
  • Betting on all college sports would be permitted.
  • Bettors must be 21+ and physically present in the state of Georgia to place a wager.
  • Sports betting would be taxed at a 22% rate.
  • One license would go to the Georgia Lottery. Five licenses would go to pro sports franchises (the Falcons, Braves, Hawks, Dream and Atlanta FC). Three more licenses would go to Augusta National (The Masters), the PGA, Atlanta Motor Speedway and Michelin Raceway. The other seven licenses would be up for grabs among operators. Licenses are valid for 20 years.
  • Revenue from Georgia sports betting will be contributed to the Lottery for Education Account, which incudes the HOPE scholarship and Pre-K funding.

Georgia Online Sportsbooks

We now know that if Georgia sports betting ever does go live, there could be up to 16 GA sports betting licenses up for grabs. That means when the day comes, Georgia sports bettors can anticipate the arrival of all of the major players in the U.S. online sports betting industry.

DraftKings Sport

DraftKings Georgia Sportsbook

DraftKings will have a leg up in the Georgia market since it already has a presence in the state through its daily fantasy sports service. If they can convert some of their DFS users into sports bettors - a formula that's worked for them in other states - DraftKings will again be a powerful player in yet another market. Their rich offerings of promotions, betting markets and betting lines make DraftKings a popular choice for GA sports bettors.

FanDuel

FanDuel Georgia Sportsbook

Like DraftKings, FanDuel is already operating in the Georgia DFS marketplace. Known for getting odds posted quickly and offering very competitive odds, FanDuel's promotional menu is attractive. FanDuel is frequently creating unique promotions catering to a specific state market.

BetMGM Sport

BetMGM Georgia Sportsbook

MGM is already well-known name in both the gambling and resort industry. MGM's online arm, BetMGM, is actively working to expand its brand across the country. BetMGM is known for delivering solid betting markets, a stellar signup bonus, live streaming and a rich rewards program.

Caesars Sport

Caesars Georgia Sportsbook

Caesars was already a potent presence in both retail and online sports betting industry. A recent merger with British sportsbook powerhouse William Hill has turned Caesars into an online sports betting superpower. They are offering one of the most lucrative signup bonuses in the U.S. market. The Caesars menu of betting markets and betting lines is astonishingly extensive.

How We Pick the Best Georgia Sports Betting Sites

Determining the best online sports betting sites Georgia will offer is not a flight of fancy.

At Bookies.com, we put in hours of diligent, dedicated research into reaching the conclusion about the Georgia online sports betting sites that we believe will earn the right to receive your hard-earned dollars.

We analyze security, user experience (i.e. load times), payout times, sport offerings, odds pricing vs. the competition, bonus options and customer service responsiveness, among other things.

How is Georgia Sports Betting Regulated?

Under the terms of House Bill 237, the Georgia Lottery will run sports betting.

Georgia Sports Betting Sites Reputation

Every Georgia online sports betting website will be stringently licensed and regulated, which is of vital importance to everyone who plans on using a Georgia sports betting app.

Sports betting online in Georgia will be well-regulated, unlike offshore books that put your person and financial security at risk.

The lottery will vet each individual operator and serve as the sounding board for questions and complaints, which should assure bettors that they can trust doing business with GA sportsbooks.

Accessibility

When it comes to sports betting websites, GA bettors will want a site that is lightning fast. In terms of online sports gambling, GA players will seek out sites that are smooth to navigate and offer a variety of betting markets and betting lines.

In terms of the operators, you can expect DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo Fantasy to be available to bettors in Georgia since they already offer daily fantasy games in the state.

BetRivers is likely to be in the mix as well if Georgia joins Tennessee to become the U.S.'s second "only online" sports betting state.

Reliability

In today's online world, quick is the difference between returning customers and frustrated clientele that won't be giving a website a second chance. Variety will be the name of the game when it comes to Georgia sportsbooks.

With so many online betting sites, GA players will gravitate to the ones that continue to deliver the goods. The best betting sites Georgia has to offer will provide a product that can be counted on and service that is second to none.

Site and Mobile Experience

Nothing can ruin someone's day like the frustrating experience staring at a spinning wheel on a computer screen.

Georgia online betting sites that are quick to download and a piece of cake to navigate will win the day. The same goes for Georgia betting apps. The best sportsbook app GA bettors will choose will be easy to navigate and provide the same options as the desktop site.

Generous and Ongoing Sports Bet Bonuses

The best sports betting app in Georgia will offer the widest range of GA sportsbook promos. These will include lucrative signup bonus offers, reload bonuses, odds boosts, and the live sports betting GA players will most desire.

Payment Options

The best online sports betting GA sites will offer extensive payment options. Traditional methods such as credit and debit cards, bank transfers, e-wallets and even cryptocurrency should be among the available choices at GA sportsbooks.

Variety of Games to Bet On

Variety is the spice of life and that will be no different when considering the best online betting sites GA will deliver to the public.

Though, Georgians won't be able to bet on their beloved Georgia Bulldogs, or any other collegiate team, every site will offer wagering on the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and NBA. But what about Australian Rules football, Russian table tennis, or Estonian soccer? The best sports betting sites GA offers will provide lines on many sports.

Better Odds

Another key element to be the best online sportsbook will be that it offers competitive odds. Along with a wide variety of odds, they should be posted quickly and updated frequently to reflect the betting action on each event.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Making a deposit to any online sportsbook Georgia licenses will be a seamless and pain-free process. The money should appear in the player's account almost instantly. GA online sports betting sites will also make the process of a withdrawal equally smooth.

FanDuel, which will likely be in the mix as a GA online sports betting operator, offers withdrawals from prepaid cards within 48 hours (online banking withdrawals take 3-5 business days).

Payout Process

Many online betting sites offer a restrictive list when it comes to withdrawal options, which shouldn't be the case with the best GA sports betting apps. Why? Draftkings and FanDuel, which figure to be in the mix, have tremendous reputations in terms of payouts.

Many states with regulated sports betting offer a variety of withdrawal methods and deposit options. Online sports betting in GA should be no different given it will be a familiar cast of operators running things. Minimum and maximum amounts for withdrawals will be clearly posted.

Security at Online Sportsbooks in Georgia

In the online world, hackers are terrorists with keyboards. When sports betting online in Georgia, players will need to be able to rest assured that both their money and personal information are safely secured. Every GA sports betting website will provide the latest in encryption technology.

Are Mobile Sports Betting Apps Available in Georgia?

No, sports betting is illegal in Georgia. If and when betting at a Georgia sportsbook is legal, the majority of wagers figure to be placed online via Georgia betting apps.

Mobile wagering is the most popular and fastest-growing way to bet on sports. It's fast, it's easy and best of all, it's accessible everywhere you go. Get this: New Jersey, which has been the leading sports betting market since PASPA was overturned in 2018, saw roughly 90% of bets placed on mobile devices in October 2021.

Any online GA sportsbook will offer a quality mobile app that seamlessly delivers all the bells and whistles of a desktop site. The betting apps Georgia sportsbooks will provide are also going to offer a platform that will deliver the live sports betting GA players will be craving.

Bonuses & Promotions at Georgia Sports Betting Sites

Every GA online sportsbook will seek to entice potential players via signup bonus offers. These general come in three forms - "risk-free" first bets, matching first deposit bonuses and no-deposit bonuses.

The risk-free first bet is just what it says. A pre-set amount is established (say $500). On a new player's first wager, they can bet up to that $500 limit. If the best loses, the funds will be returned to the account, usually in the form of site credit.

Matching first deposit bonuses also have a pre-set maximum. In this case, let's say it's $250. That means a player who makes a first deposit of $250 would see it doubled to $500.

Most sportsbooks have what's called a "playthrough requirement", which means you can't withdraw your funds until you've bet the bonus figure a certain amount of times.

The "no-deposit" bonus is basically free money. It's usually a small stipend, around $25, but it's free money to bet regardless of the amount.

The best GA online betting apps are going to be the ones that keep giving in terms of bonuses and promotions. Sports betting in GA online might include offers like reload bonuses, boosted odds on certain wagers and offers specific to local teams or major sports events.

Types of Sports Bets Offered in Georgia

The three most common sports bets that Georgia sportsbooks will offer are spreads, moneyline bets and totals bets.

When spread betting, positive and negative numbers designate the favorite and the underdog. If the Atlanta Hawks are -5, they're favored and would need to win the game by more than five points for the bet to cash (if the margin of victory landed on 5, the bet would "push," meaning you don't win or lose).

However, if the Hawks are +3, that means they're the underdog. The wager will pay out if they win or lose by less than three points.

The moneyline wager designates a favorite and an underdog through postive and negative numbers based on a $100 wager. So, if the Atlanta Falcons' odds are set at -120, that means they're favored to win. The odds of -120 means you'd have to wager $120 to win $100.

However, if the Falcons are listed at +150, they are the underdog. The odds of +150 means you'd win $150 on a $100 wager.

The totals is also called the "over/under." Sportsbooks assign a number that represents how many points they are projecting to be scored in the game. For instance, if the total is set at 47.5, you'd bet on whether you think the total points scored in the game will go over or under that number.

Props and parlays are other popular bets. Parlays combine multiple wagers into one bet. Every bet, or "leg" of the parlay must win for the parlay to cash.

Prop bets are wagers on specific outcomes either in the game, or in terms of player performance. Example of props include wagering on how many TDs a QB will throw, or how many 3-point field goals a player will make. Another popular prop is the "anytime TD scorer" where you bet on a player to score at any point in the game. Props have similar odds to moneyline bets. You might be on Kyle Pitts to score at +140 odds, for instance.

Live betting is extremely popular and takes this element even further. These are wagers on occurrences during the game, such as who will score the next touchdown, or commit the next foul. You can also bet live on the spread and total (the odds fluctuate live based on the result of each play).

What Sports Leagues Can I Bet On in Georgia?

The NFL is king in terms of online sports betting, which will mean a lot of money bet on the NFL's Atlanta Falcons. There are Georgia-based teams in the MLB (Braves), NBA (Hawks) and MLS (Atlanta United FC). All of these leagues will garner plenty of betting action.

What's more, The Masters is one of the most significant tournaments in golf, so PGA Tour wagering will be a popular play in Georgia if GA sports betting is legalized.

When Can I Play Daily Fantasy Sports in Georgia?

In 2017, legislation was put forth in the Georgia State Assembly designed to legalize daily fantasy sports. The bill died without ever coming to a vote.

However, while DFS wasn't rubber stamped with a legalization designation, there is no statute that specifically states that it is illegal in Georgia. DFS isn't covered by Georgia gambling laws because it is considered a game of chance or luck, whereas DFS is considered a "game of skill."

That is enabling the DFS superpowers such as DraftKings and FanDuel to exist in a sort of grey area and they are able to accept customers from Georgia.

How to Sign Up and Place a Sports Bet in Georgia

With all its names, numbers, variables and computations, online sports betting can appear very intimidating to the newcomer. Well, we're here to tell you that sports betting is easy. Here's a step-by -step process of how to sign up at an online sports betting site.

  1. Scout around and choose the online sportsbook that fits your needs
  2. Get familiar with their betting platform
  3. Click the join button or download their mobile app to launch the signup process
  4. Provide some necessary personal information
  5. Select a unique username and password for your new account
  6. Fund your account
  7. Place your first bet

Top 5 Georgia Sports Teams to Bet On

Georgia is a popular location for pro sports franchises. The Atlanta Falcons play in the NFL, the Atlanta Hawks are in the NBA and the Atlanta Braves are an MLB franchise. Atlanta United FC play in the MLS.

Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons

The good news is that the Falcons have been to a pair of Super Bowl games. The bad news is that they are 0-2. In the second of those games, the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead and lost 34-28 to the New England Patriots. That's the largest lead ever squandered in a Super Bowl game. The Falcons debuted as an expansion franchise in 1966.

Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves

The Braves garnered their first championship since 1995 by beating the Houston Astros in 2021. Atlanta gained its team in 1966 when the Milwaukee Braves relocated there. The Braves won an unprecedented 14 consecutive division titles between 1991-2005.

Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks

When the St. Louis Hawks relocated in 1968, it gave Atlanta an NBA franchise. Though the Hawks have suited up many great players, they've never managed to make an appearance in the NBA finals since the team moved to Atlanta. The Hawks are one of four NBA teams to make 10 straight playoff appearances during the 21st century, though.

Atlanta United FC

Atlanta United

Atlanta United FC has been an instant hit since joining the MLS in 2017. It won the MLS Cup in 2018, which was its second season of existence. The club has set several league records for highest single-match and average attendance.

The Masters

The Masters

While not technically a team, The Masters is the biggest annual sporting event in Georgia. The Augusta National Golf Club welcomes the world's best golfers for the sport's first major every April. It's only one of golf's four major tournaments that is staged every year at the same course.

Responsible Gambling

The Georgia Lottery, which will oversee online sports betting in Georgia, contributes $400,000 annually to the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities to fund research, education and treatment of gambling addiction. The Georgia Lottery is committed to protecting the state's players and provides tools, information and assistance to those seeking help.

Sports Betting Georgia FAQs

Is Online Sports Betting legal in Georgia?

No, but there is a small chance Georgia sports betting will be legalized in 2023 after a stark turn of events. Georgia sports betting is alive for 2023 again because lawmakers attached it to a Soap Box Derby bill, which was the latest move following the failure of multiple bills this winter. The bill doesn't need a constitutional amendment and call for sports betting to start no earlier than 2024. Georgia doesn't have casinos, and this bill will not offer any in-person betting options.

When will Online Sports Betting be available in Georgia?

Georgia sports betting could begin as early as 2024 if the current bill passes.

Will I need to be a Georgia resident to bet online?

No, not necessarily. But you will need to be physically present in Georgia in order to place a wager.

What is the Legal Gambling Age in Georgia?

If Georgia sports betting eventually is legalized, the age to gamble will likely be 21 based off the latest legislation that failed to pass through the House.

How will an online sportsbook know my location?

Sports betting sites will be required by law to ensure that geolocation software be downloaded when players sign up for their service.

Can I Bet Online on my Phone in Georgia?

No. Gambling is illegal in Georgia. The earliest Georgians can possibly bet on their mobile phones will likely be 2024.

Are GA betting sites safe?

The legal betting sites GA will offer, if and when sports betting passes into law, will be as secure as any website. They will be strictly regulated by the Georgia Lottery Commission and must adhere to the most secure encryption technology to protect private information.

What do I need to create an online sports betting account in Georgia?

There are a number of requirements necessary in order to open a Georgia online betting account. These include a current address, an active email address and phone number, social security number and proof of legal age.

Do Georgia online casinos have sports betting?

Currently there are no legal casinos, either land-based or online, in the state of Georgia and that doesn't appear it will change any time soon.

About the Author

A veteran journalist based in Windsor, Ontario, Bob Duff has covered the gambling and sports betting industry since 2016. He has written more than two dozen books.