In the southern American state of Georgia and legislation has reportedly been introduced that could see the jurisdiction become the latest to legalize online and mobile sportsbetting for the benefit of local educational programs.
According to a Thursday report from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper, the measure from Georgia State Senator Burt Jones (pictured) asks that the state-run Georgia Lottery Corporation be permitted to manage an online sports wagering system for the purposes of offering a wide range of bets to adults over the age of 21.
The newspaper reported that Jones’ Senate Bill 403 would also require licensed sportsbetting operators to surrender 20% of their local annual income with some 95% of this amount being earmarked to help fund the state’s Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally (HOPE) program. The proposed legislation would moreover purportedly mandate that the remaining 5% of this final sum be utilized for addiction treatment services via the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the move from Jones follows years of unsuccessful attempts to expand legalized gambling in Georgia through various amendments to its constitution. Such moves have purportedly proved difficult because they require a majority of voters to approve only after securing two-thirds endorsement in both chambers of the Georgia General Assembly.
However, the Republican legislator reportedly told the newspaper that his measure does not require the same threshold of support and hopes to bring legalized sports wagering to ‘The Peach State’ so as to capture some of the estimated $1.5 billion its residents illicitly spend on sportsbetting every year.
Jones reportedly told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution…
“It’s going on currently and so we feel like, much like the Internet sales tax, that it’s just an opportunity for us to capitalize on an entity that’s already operating.”
The newspaper reported that the latest move to bring legalized online and mobile sportsbetting to Georgia has additionally received support from the Georgia Professional Sports Integrity Alliance, which is a coalition made up of the state’s Atlanta United, Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Braves professional sports franchises. This organization’s Billy Linville purportedly additionally made reference to the $1.5 billion figure in advance of proclaiming that Jones’ legislation would allow local residents ‘to wager in a fully regulated environment that protects consumers and the integrity of games.’