Exploring the Legality of Sports Betting in Georgia: An Update on the Latest Launch Developments

GA Sports Betting Law Details


  • Retail Sports Betting Launch Date: N/A
  • Online Sports Betting Launch Date: N/A
  • Licensed Sportsbooks: N/A
  • Legal Wagering Options: N/A
  • Legal Gambling Age in GA: N/A
  • Sports to Bet On: N/A
  • Permitted Banking Options: N/A
  • Georgia Gambling Regulator: N/A

Georgia Sports Betting Summary

Online and retail sports betting are currently illegal in Georgia. However, lawmakers have been actively working towards passing sports wagering legislation. Representative Ron Stephens has introduced three sports betting bills since 2020, with SB 142 making the most progress. This bill aimed to give regulatory power to the Georgia Lottery Commission but failed to pass the House in both 2021 and 2022, despite passing the Senate. The focus of these bills has been primarily on legalizing online sports betting, although SB 142 also included provisions for retail sports betting at licensed establishments serving alcohol. While gambling is currently prohibited by Georgia’s constitution, the state does permit the lottery and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games. The introduction of sports betting legislation in Georgia has raised questions about whether it would require a public vote. SR 135 attempted to address this issue but failed to make it onto the 2022 ballot. The next opportunity for such a vote will be in 2024, potentially causing delays in the progress of sports betting legislation. For a comprehensive guide to Georgia sports betting, including the latest legislation, likely regulations, and legal betting destinations, continue reading.

Georgia Online Sportsbook Summary

Georgia lawmakers have shown a strong interest in legalizing online sports betting. Despite previous unsuccessful attempts, such as SB 142, which did not pass the House in 2021 and 2022, the Senate’s support for these bills indicates a potential future for legal betting in the state. Notably, FanDuel has already set up an IT center in Atlanta, signaling its inclination to enter the Georgia market once online sports betting is legalized. Other major sportsbooks like DraftKings, BetMGM, and Caesars are also expected to launch their platforms in the state. Although Georgia currently does not permit horse racing betting, residents can still participate in DFS games. If they seek legal online sports wagering options, neighboring Tennessee offers a mobile-only betting market with numerous sportsbook brands to choose from, including Caesars, Barstool Sportsbook, and SuperBook. Retail sports betting can be found in North Carolina.

Who is Eligible to Bet in Georgia?

If sports betting becomes legal in Georgia, it is expected that similar eligibility rules found in neighboring states will apply. Bettors will likely need to be 21 years or older and physically present within the state’s borders to use online sportsbooks. Additionally, certain individuals, such as athletes, coaches, referees, and those with the authority to influence players or access non-public information, are likely to be ineligible to place bets. Those with a stake in a sports team or individuals with a history of self-exclusion or criminal activity may also be prohibited from participating in sports wagering.

Latest Georgia Sports Betting Updates

As of now, all forms of sports betting remain illegal in Georgia. While recent years have seen progress towards legalization, there is still uncertainty regarding whether a public vote is required to legalize sports wagering. The failure of SB 142 and SR 135 to pass in previous legislative sessions indicates that another attempt to legalize sports betting may be made in 2023, although the absence of a ballot that year could impact the level of support. Here is a timeline of the recent legislative efforts:

  • March 31, 2022: SB 142 fails to pass in the House for the second year, and a vote on SR 135 removes all sports betting-related content from the bill.
  • March 26, 2022: Rep. Stephens revives SR 135 and SB 142 in the final week of the legislative session, receiving approval from the Senate.
  • March 31, 2021: None of the sports betting bills receive a vote before the legislative session concludes.
  • March 5, 2021: SR 135 and SB 142 pass the Senate and move to the House.
  • February 20, 2021: Senator Jeff Mullis introduces SB 142 to legalize online and retail sports betting, along with SR 135 to add sports betting to the November 2022 ballot.
  • January 26, 2021: Rep. Stephens introduces HB 86, also known as the Georgia Lottery Mobile Sports Wagering Integrity Act, which grants regulatory power to the Georgia Lottery for sports betting in the state.
  • February 21, 2020: SB 403, a bill to legalize online sports betting through the lottery, is introduced to the Senate and referred to a committee but does not progress further.
  • May 14, 2018: The US Supreme Court overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), granting individual states the authority to legalize sports betting.

Georgia has historically held conservative views on gambling, with its constitution specifically prohibiting casinos, sports betting, and pari-mutuel wagering. However, with the potential use of sports betting revenue to support the state’s HOPE scholarship program, as advocated by gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, there is growing momentum to legalize sports betting in Georgia. Speaker of the House David Ralston has also expressed support for legalization. While a ballot initiative in November 2024 would be the earliest opportunity to legalize sports betting, there may be an attempt to pass legislation in 2023 without a ballot.

Georgia’s Sports Betting Locations

Currently, there are no casinos in Georgia, and the legalization of sports betting does not appear to involve the construction of land-based casinos in the near future. Retail sports wagering options may be limited, with individuals potentially needing to travel to North Carolina to place bets at Caesars-operated casinos. However, the Georgia State Lottery has been proposed as a potential operator for sports betting, opening the possibility for retail betting kiosks and windows at establishments licensed to serve alcohol. Off-track betting is illegal in Georgia, and there are no dedicated off-track betting locations. Horse racing, while not unlawful, does not currently have racetracks in the state. However, the potential legalization of pari-mutuel horse racing betting through SB 212 could lead to the construction of horse racing tracks in Georgia.

Georgia Responsible Gambling Resources

For individuals seeking help with problem gambling, Georgia offers resources such as the Georgia National Council for Problem Gambling, which provides statewide support and a 24/7 live chat and helpline at (800) 522-4700. Gamblers Anonymous also operates meetings for problem gamblers, along with a 12-step treatment program and a screening test, accessible at (855) 222-5542. The Georgia Lottery has implemented a voluntary self-exclusion program, allowing players to prohibit themselves from participating in gambling activities. Similar responsible gambling measures, including account limits and time-outs, are expected to be implemented by online sportsbooks in the future.

Teams to Bet on in Georgia

Pro Sports

Georgia is home to several professional sports teams that could be of interest for sports bettors. These include:

  • Atlanta Falcons: The Atlanta Falcons, an NFL team, have had both successes and disappointments. They have won six division titles and two conference championships but famously lost Super Bowl LI to the New England Patriots after holding a significant lead.
  • Atlanta Hawks: The Atlanta Hawks, an NBA team, play their home games at the State Farm Arena. While the team has had periods of less success, the acquisition of Trae Young in 2018 has brought renewed enthusiasm, with the Hawks winning a division title and making it to the conference finals in 2021.
  • Atlanta Braves: The Atlanta Braves, an MLB team, boast an impressive record with four World Series victories, 18 National League Pennants, and 21 division titles. Their most recent World Series triumph occurred in 2021, resulting in a 4-2 series victory over the Houston Astros. Notably, the Braves are known for their entertaining between-innings activities, such as the popular ‘The Freeze’ racing event.

College Sports

Georgia’s college sports teams also hold a significant presence and may attract betting interest. These include:

  • Georgia Bulldogs: The University of Georgia’s sports teams, known as the Bulldogs, have a storied history in college sports. With 47 National Championships and 56 Olympic Medals won by alumni, the Bulldogs’ football team, in particular, has a large and passionate fan base.
  • Georgia Southern Eagles: Representing Georgia Southern University, the Eagles compete in the Sun Belt Conference across various sports. The university is notable for its live eagle mascot, Freedom, and its costumed mascot, GUS.
  • Georgia State Panthers: Georgia State University’s sports teams, the Panthers, compete in the Sun Belt Conference and have experienced success in men’s basketball, winning several conference tournaments and making appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: The Atlanta-based Georgia Institute of Technology, commonly known as Georgia Tech, is represented by the Yellow Jackets in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The football rivalry between Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia is highly anticipated, with the Yellow Jackets boasting four National Championships in football.
  • Kennesaw State Owls: The Owls, representing Kennesaw State University, participate in the ASUN Conference. While the university transitioned to Division I in 2010, they have already achieved success in various sports, particularly in baseball.
  • Mercer Bears: Mercer University’s teams, known as the Bears, compete in the Southern Conference. The men’s basketball team, in particular, has made multiple appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including an upset victory over a 3rd seed Duke in 2014.

Women’s Sports

Women’s professional sports teams in Georgia that may attract betting interest include:

  • Atlanta Dream: The Atlanta Dream, a team in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), has reached the finals on three occasions but has not won a championship yet.

How Does Georgia Compare to Other States?

When considering the future of sports betting in Georgia, it is informative to examine how the state compares to others in different aspects. Here are a few areas of comparison:

Market Coverage

Looking at neighboring states like Tennessee and North Carolina, we can gain insight into the potential market coverage for sports betting in Georgia. These states offer betting options on major professional sports leagues such as the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. Additionally, they provide betting lines for niche sports like European soccer and NASCAR. North Carolina also allows player props and other types of wagers on college sports.

Competitive Odds & Prices

If online sports betting is legalized in Georgia, top sportsbook brands such as FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM are expected to enter the market. These brands often offer the same odds across multiple states, ensuring competitive pricing. For example, FanDuel, known for generous total betting lines on NFL games, operates in competitive markets like Colorado, New Jersey, and New York, where bettors have access to favorable odds.

Gambling Revenue

Due to its large population and the presence of major league sports teams, Georgia has the potential to generate substantial revenue from sports betting. Michigan serves as a useful comparison, with a comparable population and four major league sports teams. As of July 2022, Michigan has handled over $6.8 billion in bets, generating significant revenue and tax income. A similar scenario can be envisioned for Georgia if it legalizes online and retail sports wagering, potentially leading to steady tax revenue, especially if the Georgia Lottery Commission operates retail sportsbooks.

Betting Taxes

Under US tax laws, all bettors, including those in Georgia, must pay taxes on their gambling winnings. This involves declaring all winnings to the IRS and completing a W-2G form for winnings exceeding $600. State income tax in Georgia ranges from 1% to 5.75% and should include any sports betting winnings. The Internal Revenue Code imposes an excise tax of 0.25% on monthly betting handle by sportsbooks, as well as a $50 payment for each employee involved in accepting bets.

Who Oversees Sports Betting in Georgia?

If sports betting becomes legal in Georgia, the Georgia Lottery Commission is expected to be the regulatory authority overseeing the industry. This commission has been named as the sports betting regulator in SB 142, the bill that made significant progress towards legalization. The Georgia Lottery Commission would be responsible for establishing and enforcing safety regulations in sports wagering, including the licensing of sportsbooks and ensuring financial security. As mentioned earlier, the Georgia Lottery could also serve as a sportsbook operator for retail wagering, allowing licensed establishments that serve alcohol to offer betting kiosks and windows on its behalf. The Commission would also be responsible for managing the infrastructure for the state’s betting system, including determining odds and available bet markets.


While sports betting remains illegal in Georgia, the state has witnessed ongoing efforts to legalize it. The introduction of sports wagering legislation by Representative Ron Stephens and the growing support from lawmakers and candidates indicate a potential future for legal betting. If legalized, Georgia could follow neighboring states such as Tennessee and North Carolina in offering online and retail sports betting options, with major sportsbook brands like FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM expected to enter the market. The Georgia Lottery Commission is likely to oversee the regulatory aspects of sports betting, ensuring a safe and secure environment for bettors. In the meantime, Georgia residents can still participate in the lottery and enjoy Daily Fantasy Sports games while awaiting potential changes to the state’s gambling laws.

Unique FAQs

Is betting legal in Georgia?

No, sports betting is not legal in Georgia. Lawmakers have introduced sports wagering bills every year since 2020, but none have been successful yet. The two most recent bills passed the Senate but did not receive a vote from the House.

Who would govern sports betting in Georgia?

The Georgia Lottery Commission is the most likely organization to regulate sports betting in GA. SB 142, which the Senate approved in 2021 and 2022, names the Georgia Lottery Commission as the state’s sports betting regulator.

How old would you have to be to bet in Georgia?

Georgia is likely to follow other US states and makes its minimum sports betting age 21 or older. Before wagering, you will almost certainly have to verify your age with a valid photo ID.

When will sports betting launch in Georgia?

The earliest sports betting can be legalized in Georgia is during the 2023 legislative session. However, as the illegality of gambling is in GA’s constitution, a public vote may be needed to launch wagering. The next ballot is in November 2024.

Where will I be able to bet on sports in Georgia?

The most recent legislation has tried to legalize statewide online sports betting so that you can wager anywhere in Georgia. In addition, the state’s regulator may license retailers who can serve alcohol to provide retail betting kiosks and windows. These retailers would operate sports betting on behalf of the Georgia Lottery Commission.

Will sportsbooks in Georgia be safe?

If sports betting is legalized, the Georgia Lottery Commission will likely be responsible for regulating every sportsbook that launches in the Peach State. The regulatory body will need to test every betting site’s financial security and data protection before accepting any license applications.

Would I have to pay taxes on betting winnings in Georgia?

Yes, all sports bettors in the US need to declare gambling winnings to the IRS. You need to fill out a W-2G form if you win more than $600. Your betting winnings also need to be included when completing your state income tax.

Can you play DraftKings in Georgia?

No, you can’t bet with DraftKings in Georgia, but the sportsbook is available in neighboring Tennessee. However, you can use DraftKings to play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games in GA.

Can you play FanDuel in Georgia?

You can’t use FanDuel Sportsbook in Georgia because wagering is illegal. However, you can play FanDuel Daily Fantasy Sports or visit Tennessee to use FanDuel’s betting app.

Can you play BetMGM in Georgia?

No, you can’t play with BetMGM in Georgia. The closest state where you can use BetMGM is Tennessee, where you can download its betting app on Apple and Android devices.

Can you play Caesars in Georgia?

Sports betting is illegal in Georgia, and so Caesars Sportsbook is unavailable. You can travel to Tennessee to bet with Caesars online or visit North Carolina and its two retail sportsbooks.

Can you play TwinSpires in Georgia?

No, you can’t bet with TwinSpires Sportsbook in Georgia. You also can’t use the brand’s online horse racing betting. TwinSpires is currently shutting down its sportsbook in several states.

Which sportsbooks will be available in Georgia in the future?

FanDuel is a firm favorite to launch in Georgia if sports betting is legalized. The company has announced plans to build an IT hub in Georgia and create 900 jobs. DraftKings is another favorite, thanks to its Daily Fantasy Sports presence in the state.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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