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The Georgia Senate has taken a significant step toward legalizing sports betting with the advancement of House Bill 386.

The Georgia Senate, in a 35-15 vote, decided to move forward with House Bill 386, aiming to legalize sports betting in the state.

This measure not only represents a legislative milestone, but also boosts the betting scene in the United States.

In addition to passing House Bill 386, the Senate also greenlit an amendment that requires a referendum by Georgia voters in November. Demonstrating a commitment to transparency and popular participation in the legislative process.

With approval in the Senate, the bill now heads to the Georgia House of Representatives, where it will undergo further discussion and thorough analysis.

Understand Bill 386, approved by the Georgia Senate

Bill 386 proposes the creation of a licensing system that includes 16 licenses in total. Of these, eight would go to local sports organizations, while seven would be made available to open applicants.

Additionally, a license would be reserved for the Georgia Lottery, ensuring an equitable distribution of market participation opportunities.

To obtain these licenses, interested parties must meet specific requirements, including paying an application fee of US$100,000 and an annual license fee of US$1 million.

This structure aims to guarantee the seriousness and responsibility of operators in the sports betting sector.

Professional sports franchises based in Georgia, such as the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Dream and Atlanta United, will have the opportunity to acquire licenses.

Other recognized entities, such as Augusta National, NASCAR’s Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Georgia Lottery, may also enter the contest.

Targeting revenue from sports betting

A significant portion of sports betting revenue will go toward higher education and pre-school scholarships.

Despite previous efforts, during the 2023 session, several attempts to legalize sports betting and other forms of online gaming were unsuccessful.

However, the advancement of Bill 386 represents a new moment for the regulation of this growing sector.

The Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee, in an 8-2 vote, demonstrated its support for the proposal.

This legislation, introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, offers a pragmatic approach to legalizing sports betting.

In this way, avoiding the need for a constitutional amendment, as required by other bills being processed in the Senate.

Finally, the advancement of Georgia Senate Bill 386 represents a crucial step toward legalizing sports betting in the state. Thus, offering a solid and transparent regulatory framework for this expanding sector.