Georgia sports betting bills miss legislative deadline

The state of Georgia will have to wait a bit longer until legal sports betting comes to the state.

Two pieces of legislation that would have permitted certain types of sports betting in the state of Georgia have failed to progress in time to meet a legislative deadline.

The two proposed bills, SB 403 and House Resolution 378, would have amended the state constitution to legalise sports wagering in Georgia.

For either bill to have progressed in the legislature, they would have had to crossover between the House and Senate by the 28th day of the legislative session, which is referred to as Crossover Day. In Georgia, if a constitutional amendment resolution does not leave its chamber by Crossover Day it becomes inactive until next year’s legislative session.

This year, Crossover Day was March 12, 2020, and as neither piece of legislation progressed, they will not go any further during the current session. However, the bills can be amended to become a live bill later on in the current session, providing another opportunity for the state to authorise sports betting.

What was covered in SB 403?

SB 403 was introduced in the Georgia Senate in February and received support from Senators Burt Jones, Jeff Mullis, Ed Harbison, David Lucas and Brandon Brach.

If SB 403 was successful, the legislation would have legalised mobile sports wagering across the state and created the Georgia Mobile Sports Wagering Integrity Commission, a new body within the Georgia Lottery Corporation which would be responsible for regulating the state’s sports betting market.

The Commission would have been responsible for processing licence applications, where operators would have been required to pay a non-refundable application fee of $50,00 and an annual renewal fee of $900,000.

In terms of taxation, licensees would have been taxed 10% on adjusted gross income from sports wagering operations in the state, which would have been paid on a monthly basis.

In late February, SB 403 was passed onto Georgia’s Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee for further consideration.

What about House Resolution 378?

House Resolution 378, which was introduced in January by Representative Ron Stephens, would have amended the state’s constitution to permit all forms gambling in the state, including sports betting, bingo and raffles.

Like SB 403, the resolution would have established a gaming commission which would be responsible for regulating the market. Unlike the Senate bill, House Resolution 378 didn’t include any details on licence fees or taxation but did that that each county in the state would have had been able to vote on whether they wished to permit gambling activities.

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