The United States is a vast country with a varying degree of conservative and progressive beliefs. It is remarkable how one topic can be so hotly debated in different regions, and how one state can look at a concept completely differently than another even though it is within the same country.
This is the case when it comes to gambling – some states are more open to the idea than others. Georgia is a state steeped in southern tradition, and this includes a general disdain for everything that has to do with gambling.
We are going to do our best to outline everything to do with gambling laws in Georgia, but we should warn you that the rest of this page is not very pretty.
Sports Betting in Georgia
Sports are incredibly popular in Georgia. From all the professional sports teams across the four major sports that are located in Atlanta to the huge following of many colleges and their athletic programs, Georgians love their sports.
Throw in the fact that the city has hosted an Olympic Games and hosts the most recognizable golf tournament on the planet, and you would think that this would be a great state to introduce regulated sports betting. Even with the federal repeal of legislation banning sports betting outside Nevada, the ultra-conservative government is unlikely to bring forward any regulations anytime soon.
This means that for now, despite it no longer being illegal, Georgians will not find any land-based sportsbooks at which to gamble.
Online Sports Betting
Regardless of the position of the state government when it comes to sports betting, Georgia residents might want to place bets with unregulated sites. These sites are not controlled by any reliale authority and therefore are very risky to bet at. We do not recommend Georgians to bet at any offshore sportsbook.
Hopefully the laws in Georgia will soon open the door for legal sports betting but so far no project is being discussed.
Horse Betting in Georgia
Many states have considered pari-mutuel wagering to be different than other forms of gambling, and as a result, it has always been protected when it comes to regulations and laws in the country.
This does not change the feeling of the Georgia state government, however – pari-mutuel betting is against the law in the state. This means that there are no tracks or OTBs in the state, so if anyone gets the itch to make some racing bets, they would have to take a trip to a neighboring state like Florida.
Online Horse Betting
Georgia is one of the few states that is not open at Twinspires and DRFBets. These sites, which adhere to the pari-mutuel laws in the country, block players from Georgia from setting up accounts and betting on horses online.
This means that unlike other states, Georgia residents are truly shut out when it comes to pari-mutuel betting from within the state.
Casino Gambling in Georgia
The hits just keep on coming when we turn our attention to casino gambling. This is another activity considered illegal in Georgia. There are no land-based casinos in the state. To make matter worse, even though there are many casinos open across the country on tribal land, there is no tribe that associates itself with the state, meaning there is no ability for a tribe to enter into a compact with the state to open a facility.
Online Casinos in Georgia
Of course, just like with land-based casinos, there is currently no legal online casino in the state. Though we hope that the laws of Georgia will soon allow for online casinos, we are not holding our breath.
Lottery in Georgia
Finally some good news! Despite having a very conservative viewpoint on other forms of gaming, the state does at least recognize the value of generating revenues from lottery games, so the Georgia Lottery is fully sanctioned across the state. The lottery was founded and launched in 1992, which is later than many of the other states. It has generated billions of dollars for the education system in the state.
The Georgia Lottery is part of the multi-state authority that offers games like Powerball and Mega Millions, meaning that residents get their chance to win hundreds of millions of dollars in jackpots being pooled from across the country. Also, players can play state-wide draw games and choose from the dozens of scratch cards available at any time.
And…get this. The state is one of the few in the country that allows players to buy their draw tickets online! Yes, this obviously seems like an oxymoron given how the state feels about other forms of gambling, but it has to be a positive sign that they were willing to take their only legal product online. Here’s hoping they see a path to generating revenue from other gaming streams in the future.
Georgia Gambling FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Georgia?
Even though there is hope that the state will enact legislation, currently it is not legal to operate a sportsbook in Georgia. If you are in Georgia and looking to bet on sports, the best solution is to board a flight to Vegas currently.
When will sports betting be legal in Georgia?
We do not believe there will be legislation tabled in 2019, so it is most likely that we won’t see legal sports betting in the state until 2020 at the earliest…
What is the best online sportsbook in Georgia?
There is no legal sportsbook in Georgia but generally one would say that what determines the best online sportsbook typically comes down to what you want out of the site. We think the best online sportsbooks give players the most betting and payment options and have 24/7 customer support to take care of any issues you may have. Hopefully Georgia residents will soon have such sites licensed in their state to bet online at.