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Georgia Casinos | Updates 2023

Casinos are Illegal in Georgia

Georgia law prohibits casino gambling. The Georgia General Assembly has considered several legislative attempts to legalize casino gambling over the years, however nothing has passed. New legislative initiatives are expected to be introduced in next year's session.

No Indian Casinos in Georgia

Federally-recognized tribes can apply to the U.S. Bureau of Indian affairs for on-reservation gambling. However, there are no federally-recognized tribes in Georgia

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News Headlines

News Georgia voters strongly support casino legalization November 3, 2022 - A recent public opinion poll shows Georgia voters across the state are strongly in favor of legalizing casinos but are split on online sports betting. A telephone survey of 1,030 likely voters ... Read more News 2022 Georgia Sports Betting Legislation Died April 4 April 14, 2022 - The Georgia General Assembly adjourned for the year last week without passing legislation to legalize sports betting. Two bills had reached the House floor prior to the end of the legislative session. ... Read more News New Year 2022 Will See New States Add Sports Betting January 1, 2022 - Thirty three states have legalized sports betting since the Supreme Court removed the ban on May 14, 2018. Nine of these states legalized sports betting in 2021. Four more states will likely follow ... Read more News Georgia legislature will restart gambling debate in Jan. 2022 session October 17, 2021 - The long legislative debate over legalized gambling in Georgia will resume again in the coming session starting in January 2022. ... Read more News Georgia casino coalition readies for major push to legalize gambling August 2, 2021 - A coalition of major casino companies has formed to lobby the Georgia General Assembly to legalize gambling in next year's legislative session. Similar legislation has failed in ... Read more More Headlines ...
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Georgia Minimum Gambling Age

Minimum gambling ages are 18 for bingo, for horse racing, 18 for the lottery.

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News Articles

Georgia voters strongly support casino legalization

November 3, 2022

A recent public opinion poll shows Georgia voters across the state are strongly in favor of legalizing casinos but are split on online sports betting. A telephone survey of 1,030 likely voters was conducted between Sep. 25 to Oct. 4 and asked the following questions:

• "Do you support or oppose allowing casino gambling in Georgia?"

Reponse:
59.7% support
29.1% oppose
11.3% don't know

• "Do you support or oppose making online betting on professional sporting events legal?"

Reponse:
45.6% support
42.6% oppose
11.8% don't know

The margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points. The survey was conducted by the School of Public and International Affairs Survey Research Center at the University of Georgia.

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2022 Georgia Sports Betting Legislation Died April 4

April 14, 2022

The Georgia General Assembly adjourned for the year last week without passing legislation to legalize sports betting. Two bills had reached the House floor prior to the end of the legislative session. Both were backed by the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee. However, April 4 was the deadline for approval by the General Assembly.

Senate Bill SR 135 would have authorized a voter referendum this November to legalize sports betting and casino gambling. Bill SB 142 would have created the Georgia Sports Betting Commission to license and regulate sportsbook operators.

The next opportunity to legalize sports betting in Georgia will return in the 2023 legislature. If approved, a voter referendum would follow in November 2024. If passed, sports betting operations could start in 2025.

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Georgia legislature will restart gambling debate in Jan. 2022 session

October 17, 2021

The long legislative debate over legalized gambling in Georgia will resume again in the coming session starting in January 2022. After ten years of gambling bills without a single passage, the possibility for enactment next year may be different.

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Bill's momentum revives casino dreams in Georgia - Courtesy of CBS46 Atlanta, . Available from YouTube

Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Savanna , who is a gambling supporter, believes 2022 offers the best opportunity so far for legalizing gambling.

It looks more encouraging than ever. Let the people decide: Do we want to gamble or do we not? That's the cleanest way to do it."

- Rep. Ron Stephens

The last legislative session made progress in that direction when the state senate passed a constitutional amendment for a voter referendum on the legalization of sports betting. However, the resolution was not taken up by the House. This coming year is expected to see bills introduced to legalize casino gambling, sports betting and pari-mutuel horse betting.

Only six states still ban casino gambling and sports betting. These are Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, South Carolina, Utah, and Vermont.

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Georgia casino coalition readies for major push to legalize gambling

August 2, 2021

A coalition of major casino companies has formed to lobby the Georgia General Assembly to legalize gambling in next year's legislative session. Similar legislation has failed in recent session.

This time there is much more money and determination for a massive lobbying effort. The coalition includes Bally's Corporation, Caesars Entertainment, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Hard Rock International, Penn National Gaming and Wynn Resorts.

The group will push for casinos at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, CNN Center, Centennial Yards, and in the cities of Augusta, Hartwell, and Kingsland. The total investment could reach $5 billion and create 50,000 new jobs.

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Georgia Sports Betting Dies in Legislature

April 7, 2021

Sports betting legislation is dead this year in Georgia. Three resolutions were introduced in the Georgia General Assembly to legalize sports wagering, and all three failed in the House prior to the end of this past legislative session.

House Bill 86: Legalize online sports betting
This bill would have authorized online sports betting under the regulation and management of the Georgia Lottery.

Senate Bill 142: Sports betting
This bill would also have authorized online sports betting under the regulation and management of the Georgia Lottery.

Senate Resolution 135: Legalize sports betting
This resolution proposed a Constitutional amendment to legalize sports gambling and required a two-thirds vote of both houses and confirmation by a majority of Georgia voters.

Sports betting, along with legalization of casinos and horse racing, are expected to return in the 2022 legislative session.

All four professional sports teams in Atlanta support legalized sports betting

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2021 Sports Betting Hopes in Georgia

January 15, 2021

The Georgia legislative session began Jan. 11 with expectation of another sports betting bill. Last year a bill came close to passing but in the end, it was dropped from the final budget plans. Supporters will try again in 2021 with a larger gaming package with several options including sports wagering.

Georgia has historically opposed all types of gambling, and the 2021 gaming package is expected to against strong opposition.

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Georgia will consider proposal for 3 major casinos

August 04, 2018

A casino opening in Georgia is becoming closer to a reality. Consideration of legalizing gambling in the state is being approached again by State Rep. Ron Stephans. The Republican congressman will be addressing the next General Assembly about allowing for the development of three casino resorts in the state where the cost would be billions of dollars to complete.

Under the proposed plan by Stephens, a minimum investment of $1.2 billion must be made and a minimum of 10,000 jobs must be created by each approved casino.

Gaming in Georgia has had a series of opposition. One being that it is considered competition to the HOPE scholarship program. It is funded by the state lottery.

The expansion of gaming in the state has been consistently opposed by Gov. Nathan Deal. As well as Secretary of State Brian Kemp. He will be running as the nominee in the gubernatorial race this election year.

In the legislative session for 2019 to 2020, Stephens will push for the proposed gaming bill to be placed on the ballot for the state's voters to decide on.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution conducted a poll in 2017. 56 percent of the people polled would be in favor of casinos. The lottery was approved by voters by a slim margin in 1992. Since that time the opinion of casinos has soften.

$670 million is spent at casinos in nearby states by Georgia residents. It is estimated that $2.5 billion could be spent in Georgia by residents before accounting for tourist dollars.

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Keetoowahs want to build tribal casino

February 24, 2017

A possible casino could be developed in Georgia by the United Keetooway Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma. The tribe is considering property that is in Cherokee County near Ball Ground. The town has close to 1,400 people living there.

The state currently does not allow for betting or casino gaming. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced on Thursday that he is not supporting the proposed project. However if the casino is developed on tribal land, then the law cannot prevent the casino from being opened.

State legislation is being proposed that would allow for casino gaming at destination resorts in Atlanta, and another location in Savannah, Augusta or Columbus

To allow for gaming to take place, the proposed legislation must be approved by two thirds votes by the state Senate and House of Representatives. The approval would change the Georgia state constitution to allow for casino gaming. Then counties would need to change referendums to decide if casinos could be built there.

The change could take up to 7 years.

If the tribes decides to build a casino on tribal owned land, this could expedite the process. However, the land would need to be placed in to federal trust for the tribe first. That process could also take many years.

The proposed legislation also will tax casinos 20 percent. The average casino tax across the country is 12 percent.

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Voters May Decide in November on GA Casinos

February 04, 2016

In November voters may have the opportunity to vote on a bill that would allow for Las Vegas style casinos in the state.

Next month the legislative session will end and there is increased interest to address the bill as a way to increase tax revenue for the state. A two thirds vote approval is needed in both the Senate and the House.

As early as next week a horse racing bill will voted on. The result of that vote could effect the casino bill.

The measure would allow for voters to decide if they want a casino in their area.

There would be five regions that the state would be sectioned into. There would be up to six casinos allowed in the state.

84 percent of the voters are interested in voting on the matter.

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Atlanta's Underground casino plan

January 15, 2009

ATLANTA - A $450 million project has been proposed to the Georgia Lottery to redevelop Underground Atlanta with 5,000 video lottery terminals, a new 29-story hotel, and upscale restaurants and retailers.

Developer Dan O'Leary, who holds a 50-year lease on Underground, said "In order to truly change the perception of Underground, we do have to bring a very significant element to that property that it doesn't have now -- a big draw. VLT machines would be an anchor tenant that would bring folks in."

The video lottery terminals look like slot machines, but operate like lottery scratch-off tickets such as "Slots of luck" and "Hold 'em poker." Georgia law prohibits Las Vegas-style gaming, but the lottery law does not specifically prohibit video lottery terminals. The lottery board would own and operate the terminals.

O'Leary estimates the casino revenues would be $600 million annually with half going to the lottery.

William Pate, president of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, says his organization would promote it since many of Atlanta's competitors, such as New Orleans and Las Vegas, already have gaming.

Tom Bell, chairman and CEO of Cousins Properties and chairman of the Central Atlanta Progress board, said it "would be a good thing for the city of Atlanta. We are slowly developing an increasingly strong offering as a tourist destination. Having an additional major attraction downtown would be a benefit."

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Study Recommends Casinos in Atlanta

January 28, 2008

ATLANTA, GA - The Atlanta Business Chronicle reported the findings of a recent study about legalizing casinos in Atlanta. The report by PKF Hospitality Research was requested by high level Atlanta business leaders who want to keep Atlanta competitive as a top tourist destination.

REPORT FINDINGS
Based on at least one Las Vegas-style casino built in downtown Atlanta:

  • Adds up to $1.7 billion to Atlanta's economy
  • Creates 10,800 new jobs
  • Adds $136.3 million in annual tax revenues
  • Adds nearly $3 million in city hotel-motel taxes
  • May bring massive redevelopment of the central business district

The report cited other cities where gambling and conventions work together to attract more visitors:
   - 1st-ranked Las Vegas has $6 billion in casino revenue
   - 2nd-ranked Chicagoland, Ind., has $5 billion
   - 16th-ranked New Orleans has $534 million

The social cost of problem gambling is also reported and could cost Atlanta $320 million a year. About 8% of Americans over 18 are susceptible to gambling dependency. If there is a casino within 50 miles, it is estimated this percentage doubles.

Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts has long been an advocate for local casinos. "Georgians love to gamble," he said. "Georgians go to the Carolinas, and Mississippi and Nevada in huge numbers. It's my prediction that within five years, we will have casino gambling here in the state of Georgia."

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News Headlines Continued

News Georgia Sports Betting Dies in Legislature April 7, 2021 - Sports betting legislation is dead this year in Georgia. Three resolutions were introduced in the Georgia General Assembly to legalize sports wagering, and all three failed in the House prior to the end of this past ... Read more News Tribes are devastated after one year of COVID-19 March 18, 2021 - As the Covid-19 pandemic began spreading across our nation last year, its impact became the most deadly in our tribal communities. Tribal economies also collapsed as casinos were shut down ... Read more News 2021 Sports Betting Hopes in Georgia January 15, 2021 - The Georgia legislative session began Jan. 11 with expectation of another sports betting bill. Last year a bill came close to passing but in the end, it was dropped from the final budget plans. Supporters will try ... Read more News Georgia will consider proposal for 3 major casinos August 4, 2018 - A legislative proposal in the next General Assembly would allow construction of 3 casinos at a minimum investment of $1.2 billion and a minimum job creation of 10,000 jobs. ... Read more

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