The invoice can be simpler to move if there is not any constitutional modification required, backers say
ATLANTA — Backers of legalized sports activities betting in Georgia stated they could have discovered a workaround to get it handed this session.
On line casino playing and horse racing have failed partly as a result of they’d require an modification to the state structure.
Constitutional amendments require a two-thirds majority of the legislature. Then, voters statewide must approve it.
Nevertheless, backers stated they assume sports activities playing wouldn’t require a constitutional modification and will develop into legislation with majority votes within the Home and Senate plus the governor’s signature.
As a result of Georgia voters authorized the state lottery a technology in the past, backers consider they’ll connect sports activities betting to the Georgia Lottery, which funds the HOPE scholarship and Pre-Okay packages within the state.
“We have to tax it, we have to regulate it, and we have to run it by means of the lottery,” State Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) stated.
He added this might simplify the problem and make it simpler to move the legislature this yr.
Playing is closely featured in promoting on sports activities packages. The playing powerhouse Bally’s acquired the identify of the cable channel that reveals Atlanta Braves video games.
Sports activities playing bought some traction final yr – the state senate handed it – however arguments from lobbyists like Mike Griffin towards it have helped bottle it up.
“You possibly can’t even watch golf now with out ’em wanting you to gamble,” Mike Griffin of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board stated in 2022. “It’s an business that’s primarily based off folks dropping.”
Nevertheless, Stephens stated Georgians are playing on sports activities anyway on worldwide websites. He stated the proceeds ought to keep in Georgia.
“One other approach to take a look at it’s you are sending your HOPE and Pre-Okay cash to the Caribbean,” he stated.
Stephens stated if sports activities e book handed this session, lawsuits would possible problem it – with judges maybe deciding whether or not a shortcut round a constitutional modification is authorized.