Georgia Is One Step Closer Towards Legalizing Gambling

Georgia is getting closer and closer towards fully allowing and legalizing gambling altogether.

It seems like, with each day passing, the gambling community in Georgia increases the pressure on state officials for all-state gambling legalization. This comes as no surprise since the gambling scene in this state is practically non-existent. Especially if you compare it with the rest of the gambling in the US. To give you a glimpse of why Georgia is considered ‘one of the least friendly states in the USA is the fact that the only form of legal gambling is lottery betting, bingo games and raffles, which goes to show the need for the state to fully legalize this activity.

Meaning that if you are a casino or sports betting fan you are out of luck. For that business, you will have to cross state lines. Or settle for the Emerald Princess Casino, located on a four-deck cruise ship in the East River. So it is definitely imperative for Georgia to legalize gambling altogether.

Consequently, the poor gambling scene is what turns many Georgians towards illegal gambling alternatives. This is especially evident when we take into account that over 2.3 million Georgians are illegally betting on sports. Hence the urgency certain officials and the majority of the gambling community impose on this matter.

The gambling lobby is supported by several notable Georgian political figures. More specifically, individuals such as Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) and Rep. Calvin Smyre (D-Columbus). Mr. Stephens is probably one of the loudest supporters of the Georgia all-state legalization. His views are definitely tailored by the same and clear opinion of the majority of the gambling community.

And that is essential for any state to have a clearly regulated gambling environment for their citizens. More specifically, that it is absolutely crazy for a state not to have legal sports betting. Mr. Stephens even suggests that sports betting should operate under the Georgian Lottery, something like West Virginia is doing at the moment. This is what he had to say when asked about the potential gambling legalization:

If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen in this next session. The people want it.

Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) – Georgia

It is good to mention that Mr. Stephens is head both of the Georgia House Economic Development and the Tourism Committee. Meaning he is directly involved with every proposal concerning the gambling industry. Anyhow, it is good that Rep. Calvin Smyre also shares the same ideas as Mr. Stephens. He also thinks that gambling ‘requires heavy lifting and that only through compromise and unity can this situation untangle.

Additionally, he said ‘Georgia has that muscle right now. However, there are still some issues on the way. For one, Senator Bill Cowsert (R-Athens) says that legalizing sports betting will result in a constitutional amendment. And in addition, the citizens of Georgia will have to agree to a potential expansion of all forms of gambling. This seems to be the only way for Georgia to fully legalize gambling.

We can only wait to see how this situation will unfold. Regardless of the decision, one thing is clear. It is better to have a regulated and monitored gambling environment for several reasons. One is definitely income. The new potential legalization will see Georgia gets 20% of the sports betting revenue. Which is 4% more than the Senate approved. And with the fact that over 2 million people are betting illegally, that money can really make a difference.

Furthermore, by allowing casinos and sportsbooks, you also get plenty of new job openings. Something that is always welcome, regardless of the situation in the state. In other words, the new gambling legalization will benefit absolutely anyone. The goal is to have a safe gambling environment, easy for monitoring and regulate. And that is what gambling is all about, the safety of the player.

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