The Georgia Senate has passed a bill to legalize online sports betting in the state, but only if it is approved by voters in a constitutional amendment. Senate Bill 386, filed last week, moved quickly through the Senate and was approved by a vote of 35-15. The bill now moves to the Georgia House of Representatives for further discussion, following Senate approval.
If passed, the bill would cover online sports wagering and would require players to be at least 21 years old and physically located within Georgia to place bets. The Georgia Lottery Corporation would regulate the market and distribute licenses for online betting, which would run for five years. Operators would need to pay a $100,000 application fee and a $1 million annual renewal fee for a Type 1 license for online betting.
Type 1 license holders would also be required to partner with an approved services provider, which would require a $10,000 license fee and a $100,000 yearly renewal fee. In addition, an additional supplier license would be offered at a cost of $2,000, plus a $20,000 renewal fee. A total of 16 Type 1 licenses would be available, with eight tethered to professional sports organizations and the remainder being standalone licenses.
Type 1 license holders would be subject to a 20% tax on adjusted gross income from online sports betting in Georgia, payable on a monthly basis. If the bill is signed by the state’s governor, it would become effective immediately.
In addition to SB 386, another online sports betting bill, Senate Bill 172, has emerged in Georgia. This bill, which failed last year but has been resubmitted, would allow for both online and retail betting and does not have a limit on the number of licenses that would be offered. The bill also outlines different tax rates for various types of sports betting wagers.
While SB 386 has cleared the Senate stage and moved to the House, SB 172 is still pending in the Senate. Both bills represent a significant step forward in the potential legalization of online sports betting in Georgia.