Georgia Lawmakers Fail to Approve Sports Betting

Lawmakers tried to approve sports betting in Georgia, but in the end the legislature didn’t act in time to trigger a referendum. Rep. Ron Stephens (l.) said the bets would have generated up to $60 million a year for the state.

Despite efforts late in the legislative session, Georgia lawmakers failed to secure enough votes to get sports betting approved in any form. The failure meant no tax revenue to address a budget deficit brought on by the coronavirus pandemic closures.

The bills in each chamber did not go beyond their committees by the time the legislative session ended, according to Legal Sports Report.

Since the proposals required a constitutional amendment, the legislature required two-thirds vote—an almost impossible task, said Rep. Ron Stephens.

Sports betting revenue would be taxed at 10 percent and could have generated $50 million to $60 million in annual revenue for the state, Stephens said.