A bill to allow online sports betting in Georgia won overwhelming support this week in…
Posted on: March 6, 2021, 04:57h.
Final up to date on: March 6, 2021, 05:32h.
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The George Senate has authorised two measures that might pave the way in which for cellular sports activities betting within the state. The laws now goes to the Home for consideration subsequent week.
State Sen. Jeff Mullis gestures whereas addressing a legislative situation. The senator from North Georgia has launched laws to permit sports activities betting within the state. (Picture: Atlanta Journal-Structure)
One of many measures authorised within the Senate on Friday, Senate Decision 135, would begin the method for a state constitutional modification permitting sports activities betting. An modification requires a two-thirds vote within the Home and Senate and public approval in a statewide election. The decision handed within the Senate on a 41-10 vote. The Senate has 56 members.
The opposite measure that handed within the Senate Friday, Senate Invoice 142, would set up sports activities betting regulation and oversight. The invoice was authorised on a 34-17 vote, in response to the Atlanta Journal-Structure.
Sen. Jeff Mullis (R) is the lead sponsor of each measures.
“The constitutional modification is solely permitting the very folks that you simply characterize — those that vote for, or possibly don’t vote for you — you’re permitting them to resolve no or sure on sports activities betting,” he mentioned.
If cellular sports activities betting is authorised, firms offering the service would pay an annual license price of $100,000. Additionally they would pay a $10,000 software price, the Journal-Structure reported.
Atlanta Professional Groups Provide Help
Below Sen. Mullis’ proposal, six firms can be allowed to supply cellular sports activities betting. Every would pay a 16 p.c revenue tax, with tax income going to needs-based scholarships, rural broadband, and rural well being care, in response to the newspaper.
The invoice would permit bettors to position wagers on skilled and school sporting occasions, however not on school video games involving George universities.
All the pieces else from skilled ping-pong to frog leaping – supplied it’s skilled – can profit from this,” Mullis mentioned.
4 skilled sports activities franchises have come out in help of sports activities betting within the state. The franchises are the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks, and Atlanta United. They’ve fashioned a coalition referred to as the Georgia Skilled Sports activities Integrity Alliance.
‘Simply the Starting’
Mullis acknowledged that passage within the Senate doesn’t sign that sports activities betting is assured to occur. Sports activities betting nonetheless have to be authorised within the Home.
“I do know this course of is simply starting,” he mentioned. “It’s going to maneuver down the highway, and there are going to be many adjustments.”
The state Home additionally has taken up a cellular sports activities betting measure, Home Invoice 86. This invoice, by Rep. Ron Stephens (R), wouldn’t require a constitutional modification. The invoice would solely want a majority vote within the Home and Senate earlier than going to the governor for his consideration.
Whereas the state structure prohibits legalized playing, sports activities betting advocates have mentioned that kind of wagering can be a “lottery sport” overseen by the Georgia Lottery Corp. The structure already has been amended to permit a lottery.
The Journal-Structure’s Georgia Legislative Navigator provides HB 86 solely a 22 p.c probability of passage.
Payments to permit business casinos and horse tracks additionally face problem in profitable legislative approval, in response to revealed accounts. Each would require a constitutional modification.
Sen. Invoice Cowsert (R), who has opposed playing, mentioned he helps sports activities betting payments.
”To many individuals, that’s leisure,” he mentioned. “And it’s virtually a part of our Southern tradition.”
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