A sports betting bill in the state of Georgia has taken a massive step, and it could lead to sports betting as early as 2023. The State Senate recently voted in favor of a constitutional amendment, and that measure will now be sent to the House of Representatives.
There were actually two different votes held, as the Senate also approved a bill that outlined how sports betting in the state would work. This could allow for a smooth transition into sports betting if voters in the state also vote in favor of the constitutional amendment in 2022.
The House of Representatives must pass the measure by a two-thirds vote, and that would place it on the ballots next November. As long as the House is able to pass this referendum, then it could continue to debate about the actual sports betting bill until 2023.
Pro Teams Still Leading Push
Professional teams in the state of Georgia continue to lead the charge to legalize sports betting, and they have had an effect on lawmakers in the state. The Georgia Professional Sports Integrity Alliance was formed in an effort to convince lawmakers, and it has also donated money to the campaign.
This alliance has highlighted the amount of money that is illegally wagered each year in the state, and it also believes that legalizing sports betting helps to protect the integrity of their sport. These professional teams will also work to convince voters in the state to approve a constitutional amendment if a referendum is placed on the November ballot.
Getting a Jump on Florida
Tennessee has already launched sports betting, and that has put pressure on Georgia lawmakers to get a bill passed. Even though Tennessee will offer some competition, Georgia could benefit by launching before the state of Florida.
Florida has the potential to become one of the biggest sports betting markets in the United States, but it doesn’t appear that the Sunshine State will be legalizing sports betting anytime soon. The Seminole Tribe controls the gaming industry in the state, and they are unwilling to allow sports betting to hurt their current casino industry revenue.
Industry experts believe that Florida will eventually offer sports betting, but Georgia could have their market established by that time if they are able to act soon.
Missing Out on March Madness
Lawmakers in the state of Georgia should be keeping a close eye on the sports betting numbers that are reported throughout the country in the month of March. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and will draw in huge numbers of bets later this month.
Most states set a target launch date prior to the start of the NFL season, but missing out on March Madness will result in millions of dollars of lost revenue for the state. The state of Georgia doesn’t have any teams set to win the NCAA Tournament this season, but it always is a huge hit with sports bettors.
There is hope and belief that Georgia sports betting will be live and available before the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.