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Sports betting bill introduced in Georgia House

Legislation introduced into the Georgia House of Representatives Monday marks the latest effort to legalize sports betting in Georgia.

House Bill 380, sponsored by state Rep. Marcus Wiedower, R-Watkinsville, is being supported by the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

“This legislation would legalize responsible sports betting in Georgia and generate additional revenue for education under the Georgia Lottery,” said Marshall Guest, the chamber’s senior vice president of public policy and public affairs.”

We look forward to working with Governor Brian Kemp, Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones, House Speaker Jon Burns, and the Georgia General Assembly to secure this huge win for education investment in our state.”

Like sports betting legislation floated in past years in the General Assembly, Wiedower’s bill calls for sports betting to be overseen by the Georgia Lottery Corp.

Unlike previous sports betting bills, the new measure would allow for two types of sports betting licenses. It calls for awarding up to 16 Type 1 licenses to companies that would provide online sports betting services.

A second variety of licenses – known as Type 2 – would go to brickand- mortar businesses in Georgia that would offer in-person sports betting. Sports betting legislation in past years has been limited strictly to online betting.

Licensees would pay 15% of their adjusted gross incomes to the state in the form of a “privilege tax” that would be set aside to help fund education in Georgia.

The bill sets out penalties for violators and includes provisions requiring companies involved in sports betting to offer programs to help problem gamblers.

Meanwhile, a second sports betting bill introduced into the Georgia Senate earlier this month is scheduled to be heard Tuesday in the Senate Economic Development & Tourism Committee.

The metro chamber’s endorsement of the House bill comes after a coalition of Atlanta’s professional sports teams – the Braves, Falcons, Hawks, and Atlanta United – led the fight to legalize sports betting in Georgia during the last two years.

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.

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