Georgia lawmakers consider new mobile sports wagering bill

The state of Georgia is once again attempting to legalise sports wagering.

Lawmakers in the state of Georgia have introduced new legislation that would authorise online and mobile sports wagering in the state.

The bill

The proposed legislation HB 86, which is also known as the Georgia Lottery Mobile Sports Wagering Integrity Act, was sponsored by six representatives and would amend Chapter 27 of Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia by incorporating a section on sports betting.

If successful, the state Lottery Corporation would be charged with regulatory oversight of the market and would be responsible for issuing and managing licenses.

The law would allow for at least six licenses to be made available to prospective licensees. Operators hoping to serve the market would need to pay a $50,000 non-refundable application fee and then an annual $900,000 annual fee for the duration of the licence.

Operators would be taxed at a rate of 16% on adjusted gross sports betting income and would be payable on a monthly basis.

Tax revenue generated from the activity would be put towards the HOPE educational scholarship initiative and preschool programs in Georgia.

The bill states that players must be at least 21 years old to participate in sports betting and wagering would be permitted across all professional sports, including esports, but not college events.

The legislation shares several similarities with another bill that was introduced during Georgia’s 2020 legislative session but ultimately failed to progress. However, this time around the bill proposes a tax rate lower than the 20% proposed last year.

Another US sports betting bill

Georgia is the latest state to propose the legalisation of sports wagering in the last week.

Several states including Connecticut, New York, Arizona and Oregon have introduced new legislation or proposed changes to their existing sports betting models in an attempt to generate more tax revenue.

Due to the massive financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on state budgets, it is likely that other states will look towards the further legalisation and expansion of gambling to help bolster state finances.

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