Professional Sports Alliance Teams Push for Legal Sports Betting in Georgia

By  //  February 15, 2020

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Different sports teams from Atlanta talked to reporters last week as part of their efforts to push for the legislation of sports betting in the state.

Different sports teams from Atlanta talked to reporters last week as part of their efforts to push for the legislation of sports betting in the state.

They are saying that legal sports betting would be good for the state and their competitions.

The professional sports alliance is made up of different teams from Atlanta including the Atlanta Falcons, the Atlanta Braves, the Atlanta Hawks, and Atlanta United. Their alliance is called the Georgia Professional Sports Integrity Alliance and was formed last year.

The Atlanta Braves CEO and president Derek Schiller shared what the alliance feels about this.

He told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution or AJC this, “We felt it was important that we formed this alliance so that we could advise the Legislature if they’re going to consider drafting legislation. [The alliance wants to ensure] that this activity – that is happening already – gets regulated in the right way, and for us, most importantly, that we ensure that the integrity of the sport is preserved.” 

The Atlanta Falcon’s president Rick McKay also gave his thoughts about this to the Atlanta Press Club during a round table. He said, “In the state of Georgia, it’s thought to be $1.5 billion was wagered last year, illegally. I guarantee you it was bet on the phone.”

What the alliance is really saying is that legal betting could help prevent integrity issues in sports. Regulated betting means that the industry will be closely looked at and monitored. Betting could also turn more people into fans and more benefits would just really come for the state.

Mid 2018 was when many of the states in the US have started to think about sports betting local legislation. This was when the Supreme Court of the United States has stricken down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992. This meant that sports betting was no longer federally illegal and that each state can decide whether they would like to legalize betting or not.

A few states immediately made a move towards legislation in the same year, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Mississipi. More states signed betting into law last year and there are now a total of 20 states that have done this.

The states that have already signed betting into law each have different regulations set. For example, states like New York and Mississippi only allow in-person betting. This means that online betting operations are still illegal in these states. Many of the locals are still placing bets online on sites and apps like CampoBet Mobile App.

Meanwhile, in states like Nevada and New Jersey, online betting is allowed. Nevada, however, still has restrictions and still requires punters to sign up in-person before they can have mobile access. This doesn’t, however, negatively affect the betting revenue in the state. These two states are still the front runners when it comes to gambling revenues in the US. 

Tennessee, however, has things differently as only online betting is signed into law in this state. This hasn’t been launched yet but many are curious to see as to how the industry would do once it’s launched. 

Now, Georgia is known to be one of the eight states that don’t have any local commercial or tribal casinos. It was even only in 1992 when the state lottery was finally allowed. It’s simply a state with a strong stance against gambling activities. However, times are changing and more people are becoming more welcoming about this.

The only allowed gambling activity in the state, the lottery, funds the HOPE program that gives out college scholarships to the locals. However, the funds can only accommodate 70 percent of the recipients’ university costs and this is why lawmakers are starting to think of ways to earn more revenue like through casinos and sports betting.

Georgia seems to be ready for this, according to a poll from the AJC. The AJC was able to survey 1,025 voters in the state residing in different areas and coming from different backgrounds and age groups.

The poll showed that 64 percent of the respondents are already supportive of establishing gambling establishments like casinos. The same poll was conducted in 2016 and the result is up 2 percent.

In terms of the legislative process in the state, a bill regarding this should first be approved by at least two-thirds of the State House Committee.

After that, the voters will then have to give their votes as bipartisan support is required in the state of Georgia. This is similar to states like Illinois and Colorado.