16 Sports Betting Apps Possible Under Latest Georgia Proposal

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Georgia would have up to 16 online sports betting apps for bettors to choose from under a revamped bill amended and passed by a Senate committee last week.

All 16 apps – with one skin (mobile app) per license – proposed by House Bill 237 would be regulated by the Georgia Lottery, which would hold a master online sports betting license and be allowed to offer its own sports betting app. Of the remaining 15 licenses, eight would be reserved for the state’s five pro sports franchises and three for select sports facilities or their select operator.

Seven licenses not designated to specific entities would be competitively bid by the lottery.

As written, apps approved under HB 237 would allow fans to wager on a full catalog of events including professional sports, collegiate sports, NASCAR, the Olympics, World Cup soccer, PGA Tour and amateur golf, esports, or other events authorized by the lottery.

That would give Georgia sports fans a lot of choices should the Peach State decide to legalize sports betting under the state lottery this year. And bettors could find out relatively soon who is in the running for the non-competitively bid apps if HB 237 passes.

Georgia Sports Teams, Entities Must Act Fast

The legislation would give pro franchises and other entities designated in the bill up to 60 days to notify the lottery of their intent to apply for an online sports betting license. It’s a firm deadline, however.

Atlanta Braves fans, Georgia sports betting
With legal sports betting in Georgia a possibility, Braves fans may have more reason to celebrate (AP Photo/Rita Harper)

Entities that meet the 60-day deadline would be allowed to proceed toward licensure. If they miss the deadline, they would forfeit their chance for one of the licenses period according to the bill, which states:

The failure of a Type 1 eligible entity to provide such written notice shall result in the permanent disqualification and prohibition of such Type 1 eligible entity from 584 obtaining a Type 1 sports betting license.

Pro franchises with licenses reserved in the proposed law are the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United FC, Atlanta Dream, and Atlanta Hawks. The other three sports entities eligible for a designated license are the PGA Tour, Augusta National, and Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The seven operators that would be licensed through a competitive bid process do not appear impacted by the deadline, although that could change as the bill progresses this session. The last day of the current 2023 legislative session is March 29.

HB 237: The Details of Georgia Sports Betting Proposal

Number of apps: 16, including one operated by the Georgia Lottery Corporation

Licenses: Issued for five years

Fees:

  • Licensees: nonrefundable $100,000 application fee and an annual licensing fee of $1 million
  • Service providers: nonrefundable application fee of $10,000 and an annual licensing fee of $100,000.
  • Suppliers( such as technology or equipment suppliers): nonrefundable application fee of $2,000 and an annual licensing fee of $20,000

Tax:

  • 22 percent

Georgia Sports Betting Provisions Added to Soap Box Derby Bill on March 16

HB 237 was amended by the Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee on March 16 to include legal sports betting. The committee amendment – added to a one-page bill that would have designated the Southeast Georgia Soap Box Derby in Lyons, Ga., the official soap box derby of Georgia – passed on an 8-1 vote.

The bill appears to be a last-ditch attempt to legalize sports betting in Georgia in a session where four previous attempts, either by statute or constitutional amendment, failed in early March.

HB 237 initially advanced to the Senate on Feb. 27 by a vote of 168-0 as the soap box derby bill. It is the first bill of newly-elected Rep. Leesa Hagan, R-Lyons, who successfully had her soap box derby language stripped from the amended legislation.

About the Author
Rebecca Hanchett

Rebecca Hanchett

Legislative Writer
Based in Kentucky's Bluegrass region, Rebecca Hanchett is a political writer who covers legislative developments at Gaming Today. She worked as a public affairs specialist for 23 years at the Kentucky State Capitol. A University of Kentucky grad, Hanchett has been known to watch UK. basketball from time to time.

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