Georgia Sen. Bill Cowsert has reintroduced SB 172, a monthly bill that would legalize retail and cellular sports activities betting in the point out and received an initial stamp of acceptance this week.
The invoice sophisticated out of the Senate Regulated Industries Committee Tuesday by an 8-4 vote. It could finally see discussion on the Senate flooring, where by it failed previous legislative session.
Cowsert’s legislative energy reignites the force for legalized gambling in Georgia. Condition legislators have mentioned legalizing sports betting for many decades, but they’ve been unable to access consensus on it.
Previous yr, legislators hotly debated no matter whether a constitutional modification was needed for gambling expansion in the point out. Cowsert is amid those people who imagine a constitutional amendment is required, which indicates two-thirds of equally the Dwelling and Senate would need to have to approve the monthly bill. Voters statewide would then also have to have to approve it. Some legislators feel a constitutional amendment is not necessary.
“The protected engage in is to do a constitutional amendment,” Cowsert stated Tuesday.
The monthly bill would enable for each retail and on the net sports activities betting. It delivers for retail sportsbooks inside experienced athletics venues, supplying people groups a further way to engage followers on video game day.
Cowsert’s invoice phone calls for a minimal of 6 on-line sporting activities wagering licenses, and there’s no cap on the variety of athletics betting applications that could go dwell in Ga.
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On the web wagering licensees would be required to pay back a $1 million once-a-year cost and a a person-time $100,000 software fee. Cowsert’s bill calls for a 20% tax on modified gross earnings on all wagers other than parlays, prop bets, and live bets. These bets would be taxed at 25%.
Cowsert stated he’s open up to opinions on the invoice, which he wrote from scratch.
“It’s not product legislation from any place. … It’s from an amalgamation of lots of, numerous payments from distinctive states all-around the place as effectively as various variations of gambling legislation that has been introduced in Georgia more than the previous 5 many years,” Cowsert claimed.
The monthly bill would develop the Ga Sports activities Betting Commission to control sports activities wagering. It would have 7 customers, with a few appointed by the governor, two by the Senate president, and two by the Household speaker.
Probability of passing
Cowsert’s bill becoming reviewed is a move ahead for legalizing sports betting in the condition, but the laws is not close to the end line.
Discussion is envisioned between legislators about in which tax earnings ought to go, ought to the invoice pass. There is also however a sizable contingent of Ga legislators with a ethical objection to greater gambling of any kind, such as sports betting. The discussion over the want for a constitutional modification will also carry into this year’s session.
Georgia’s legislative session lasts by March 28. That offers legislators a lot less than a few months to endeavor to come to a consensus, and it’s too early to notify if the legislature has a more powerful urge for food for a sporting activities wagering monthly bill than it has in previous many years.
Expenditures that are unsuccessful to progress through the 2024 legislative session do not carry about to the 2025 legislative session.