There is a second proposal to legalize sports betting in Georgia, with this bill introduced in the House on Monday.
What’s the same in Georgia sports betting bills?
Both SB 57 and HB 380 would license sports betting under the Georgia Lottery Corporation. That is a necessary step, as the legislature can expand games offered by the lottery, but an expansion of casino-type gambling would require a constitutional amendment.
The bills set aside nine licenses for named entities. That includes Atlanta’s five professional sports teams, the PGA Tour, Augusta National and Atlanta Motor Speedway. The one difference in those entities is the Senate sports betting bill allows a license for Michelin Speedway, while the ninth named entity in the House bill is the Georgia Lottery itself.
Both would also offer additional licenses available via public bid. In-person sports betting through kiosks at liquor-licensed establishments are also allowed under both bills.
But differences are significant …
- A new regulatory board would be created in the Senate version.
- The Senate bill does allow live racing by Type 2 eligible entities
- The Senate allows for nine standalone mobile licenses.
- SB 57 taxes online betting at 20% with no promotional deductions mentioned.
- Regulation is left to the Georgia Lottery in the House bill.
- Live horse racing is not discussed in the House bill while .
- There would be just seven licenses available for public bid in the House version.
- Tax revenue would likely be significantly lower under the House bill. HB 380 taxes mobile sports betting revenue at 15% and allows sportsbooks to deduct promotional costs from taxable revenue.
Same talk at Georgia sports betting hearing
It may be a new year with new sports betting bills, but much of what was said at Tuesday’s hearing on SB 57 was a repeat.
Multiple faith-based organizations and animal rights advocates spoke against all or parts of the bill. Others mentioned the opinion that not requiring a constitutional amendment to legalize sports betting is factually inaccurate, specifically calling out the Georgia Attorney General‘s opinion on daily fantasy sports from 2016.
Beach suggested lead sponsor Sen. Billy Hickman meet with every member of the committee to break down the bill and address any questions before a vote next week.