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Georgia sports betting bills on the table in public hearings

Georgia gambling news - wagering bill comes under consideration

The Georgia Senate held a committee hearing on Thursday afternoon to get input from the public and stakeholders on responsible gambling.

The bills (SR 140 and SB 172) introduced by Senator Bill Cowsert would enable a constitutional amendment to grant voters the choice to legalize sports betting in Georgia.

The legislation would allocate a 15 per cent wagering tax to public health and educational services related to gambling, while limiting bettors’ deposit to $2000 in a month.

A national responsible gambling consultant, Brianne Doura-Schawohl, has praised the bill for being robust as it addresses an important public health issue.

“It is quite contradictory to say that your bill is responsible for addressing problem gambling adequately if funding is absent. Your bill, sir, is the only one with any funding mechanism to address this important public health issue,” she said.

The legislation, however, has drawn the ire of some sections of society. Amongst them is the Executive Director for Georgia Faith and Freedom Coalition, Mack Parnell, who said the prevalence of gambling in the state was no grounds on which to legalize it.

“I would say there are a lot of things that are happening in our state, but that doesn’t mean the state should embrace it. Fentanyl, for example; just because that’s happening in our state and devastating communities doesn’t mean the state should embrace it,” he said.

SB 172 is expected to be discussed on February 28, 2023, by the committee, after SR 142 was passed by the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee.

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