Horse Racing and Fantasy Sports proposed in Georgia
March 01, 2016 3:01 AM
by Staff & Wire Reports
CASINOS AND HORSE RACING
Two measures that would open Georgia to casino gambling await a House vote on Monday.
The bill and accompanying constitutional amendment would allow up to four casinos in Georgia, with two in the metro Atlanta area. The version of the bill approved by the committee increased casinos' state tax rate to 20 percent. Previous versions called for a 12 percent tax but allowed for six casinos.
Those details in the proposals from Republican Rep. Ron Stephens of Savannah were first unveiled Thursday and quickly scheduled for a Friday vote by the chamber. House Speaker David Ralston then delayed a floor vote, urging members to gather feedback over the weekend.
A Senate proposal to allow bets on horse racing received approval from a committee early this session. But Democrats opposed the measure, and Republicans need their support to pass a constitutional amendment through the chamber.
The measure from state Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, hasn't been scheduled for a floor vote.
Fantasy sports sites could operate legally in Georgia under a bill proposed by Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford. The sites, particularly large operators FanDuel and DraftKings, have come under scrutiny in Georgia and other states where regulators argue that they violate state laws against gambling.
Unterman's bill says the sites could not be considered gambling or betting.
Lawmakers in roughly 19 states are reviewing proposals to regulate the fantasy sports industry, including California, Indiana and Virginia