Georgia lawmakers could vote on sports gambling this week
By Bob Garcia
Lawmakers in the Peach State are closer than ever to approving sports gambling
Georgia’s efforts to legalize online sports betting have gotten a great improvement since it looks like it might be put to a vote by a State Senate committee next week. Going beyond, the Georgia Lottery has always been a topic of debate under the Gold Dame; however, that might have changed recently when a group of powerful lawmakers, led by Senate Rules Committee Chair Jeff Mullins, filled a bill looking to grant the Georgia Lottery the responsibility for regulating and taxing wagers on athletic events.
Mullis decided to present his bill to the Senate Committee on Regulated Industries and Utilities (SCRIU) Thursday. He then added, “The estimate is over 2 million Georgians are doing it now, and do you know who has control of this? The bookies. The people that are controlling the spread and all those aspects of wagering. If you will honor me in supporting this issue, it will be regulated by the Georgia Lottery; it will go to the good causes like the Georgia HOPE Scholarship.”
This topic had been argued once by the lawmakers and their legislative counsel, and they concluded that sports betting such as casino gambling would need to have a constitutional amendment approved by Georgia voters; however, attorney Nicholas Green is now stating that sports betting is considered a game of chance, rather than a game of skill, so it could fall under the lottery’s purview. He said, “When you are hazarding money on the play of somebody else. that is significantly outside of your control as to how outcome game operates, and that’s the key element of chance that would allow it to be a lottery.”
Bill Cowsert, the chair of the SCRIU, said he expects the committee to take up the bill again this week.