A proposal to legalize sports betting in Georgia has been sent back to the state’s Senate. Senate Bill 172, introduced by State Senator Bill Cowsert in February of last year, is aiming to regulate and legalize sports wagering in the state. The bill made it to a third reading in the Senate before being postponed in August. Now, sponsors are looking to revive the bill and move forward with legal betting.
The latest version of SB 172 remains largely unchanged from its original form. The bill outlines various types of licenses with different fees for sports betting. These licenses would be overseen by the Georgia Sports Betting Commission. The proposal includes a $100,000 application fee and a $1.0 million annual fee for online sports betting providers, as well as a $500 application fee and a $1,000 annual renewal fee for physical betting locations.
In addition to retail betting, the bill also includes licenses for self-service betting terminals and platforms for offering retail sports betting on behalf of retail licensees. While there will be no limit on the number of licenses issued to operators, the commission is required to issue a minimum of six type one licenses and five type two permits.
The bill also outlines penalties for licensees who violate regulations set by the Commission, including suspension or revocation of licenses, as well as fines of up to $25,000 per breach. Additionally, all licensees will be subject to paying taxes, although the specific tax rate is not yet determined. The bill proposes an annual privilege tax on adjusted gross income derived from online sports betting, ranging from 20% to 25% based on the type of bet, to be paid monthly by type one sports betting licensees.
If passed into law, the bill would come into effect on January 1, 2025. The push to legalize sports betting in Georgia demonstrates ongoing efforts to expand gambling opportunities in the state.