Georgia is typical of many southeastern states in the US and has been cautious with legalizing sports betting. Lawmakers disagree over legislation, so online and retail sports betting are still unavailable.
The only casino open in Georgia is a riverboat casino that travels to international waters to allow players to gamble. This presents a problem for lawmakers legalizing sports betting, as most other US states have introduced a system where sportsbooks need to partner with a brick-and-mortar casino to launch. However, Georgia can follow neighbor Tennessee’s online-only model to launch betting.
Bills attempting to launch online sportsbooks in GA were introduced in 2020, 2021, and 2022 but none passed. The earliest sports betting can be legalized is the 2023 legislative session, but even if a bill passes, it will likely need a public vote to become law.
So, to explore everything you need to know about Georgia sports betting, read our complete guide. We’ll examine the legislative history of attempts to legalize sportsbooks and regulations in neighboring states. We’ll also cover some betting apps likely to launch in GA and Georgia’s famous sports teams and events.
May 14, 2018: The US Supreme Court overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), allowing individual states, like Georgia, to decide whether to legalize sports betting.
February 7, 2020: Representative Ron Stephens announces his intention to introduce HB 378, which will allow voters to approve sports betting via a referendum. The state’s two-thirds majority voting requirement on constitutional amendments means this fails in the Legislature.
February 21, 2020: SB 403, which will create online-only sports betting in Georgia with a 10% tax rate and a $900,000 annual license fee, fails to make it past the committee stage.
February 23, 2021: HB 86, or the Georgia Lottery Mobile Sports Wagering Integrity Act, fails to pass the committee stage in the Legislature. The bill allows for online-only sports betting but excludes collegiate contests.
March 31, 2021: State Senators respond to HB 86 with SB 142, which notably includes collegiate sports betting in its text. Lawmakers also introduce SR 135 to put sports betting to a referendum. The bills both pass the Senate but don’t pass the House.
March 31, 2022: Despite an attempt to resurrect SR 135 and SB 142 by Rep. Stephens and the two bills passing the Senate again, the House fails to pass the legislation for a second successive year. SR 135 passes the House but has all its sports betting content removed and replaced with new logging legislation.
Except for ice hockey, all major professional sports leagues have a presence in Georgia. If sports betting comes to GA, there will be plenty of local actions for players to bet on, so we’ve listed a few of the most popular competitions that will be available for betting.
The NFL has had a presence in Georgia since 1966, and sports fans will want to place bets on their local team, the Atlanta Falcons. With football remaining the most popular sport to bet on nationwide, any sports betting apps that launch in GA will offer markets on the NFL.
There will be a wide range of football bets available, including same-game and multi-game parlays, moneylines, totals, player props, and futures.
Professional basketball has been around in Georgia since 1968 when the Atlanta Hawks moved from St Louis to the Peach State. With the Hawks making the NBA playoffs in ten consecutive seasons, there is hope among fans that the team can break its long championship drought and win an NBA Finals.
If legal sports betting goes live in Georgia, there will be plenty of pre-game and in-play markets on the Hawks and other NBA teams. You’ll also be able to place player props on three-pointers, rebounds, and more basketball-exclusive markets.
The Atlanta Braves have had more success than any other professional team in Georgia, winning four World Series Championships. You’ll be able to bet on the team to win more with futures if sports betting launches in GA, so there is bound to be plenty of interest from bettors looking to place baseball wagers.
Georgia is home to two of the US’ most prominent college football programs, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the University of Georgia Bulldogs. The Bulldogs have claimed 56 bowl victories, the second-most of any college football program. Its rivals, the Yellow Jackets, have won more national titles, winning four to the Bulldogs’ two.
College football and other college sports events will attract lots of interest if college sports betting is legalized in Georgia. However, HB 86 from February 2021 excluded betting on college sports, but a competing bill, SB 142, included provisions for it to be allowed.
Georgia sports fans had a professional ice hockey team to get behind from 1999 to 2011 when the Atlanta Thrashers played at State Farm Arena. The team became the 28th NHL franchise in 1997 when the league announced that the Trashers would join the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference.
Previously, the Flames played in Atlanta but moved to Calgary in 1980. Something similar happened to the Thrasher, as the team relocated to Winnipeg in 2011 and became the Winnipeg Jets. Despite that, two sides in neighboring Florida, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers, will draw a lot of bets from hockey fans.
While you can’t bet in Georgia, you can travel to neighboring states and use licensed sportsbooks there. Florida and Alabama do not provide sports betting, but North Carolina and Tennessee offer legal wagering to anyone that visits.
Retail sportsbooks were legalized in North Carolina in 2019 and launched in 2021. However, there is no online sports betting, with legislation to change this failing to pass in 2022.
There are three retail sportsbooks in NC: two are operated by Caesars at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River. The third sportsbook is at the Catawba Two Kings Casino, which opened in September 2022. If you are over 21, you can visit these locations and bet.
Tennessee launched sports betting in November 2020 after lawmakers passed legislation in 2019, and 11 sportsbook apps are currently operational. There are no casinos in the state, so TN is an online-only state for sports betting.
You can use huge US sportsbooks like FanDuel and DraftKings and smaller brands like Tennessee Action 24/7 and Wagr. You can bet on sporting events if you are over 21 and within state lines. While betting on professional and collegiate sports is legal, Tennessee does not allow prop bets on college athletes.
It is still being determined what the sports betting market will look like if sports betting launches in Georgia. However, legislation in 2021 and 2022 proposed an online-only market with six operators. Sportsbooks will find GA an attractive market for sports betting, with a large population and established major league teams, so competition for those six licenses will be fierce. We’ve listed some likely sportsbooks that could debut when online sports betting comes to GA.
Owned by MGM Resorts, BetMGM is available in Tennessee and is a favorite to go live in Georgia. BetMGM is live in fifteen other states, including fellow Southeast state Louisiana, and is well placed to expand to GA.
Caesars already has a presence in Georgia’s neighboring states, with two retail sportsbooks in North Carolina and its online platform live in Tennessee. As one of the largest sportsbook brands in the US, having launched in sixteen states and DC, Caesars will likely want to be a part of the Georgia sports betting market.
DraftKings will be a familiar name to Daily Fantasy Sports players in Georgia and will look to use that brand recognition to launch in GA. The sportsbook regularly is one of the first to launch in states that legalize sports betting, going live on the first day in Tennessee and Louisiana. The Peach State might be the next to join that list.
The operator of FanDuel, Flutter Entertainment, recognizes the potential of a Georgia sports betting market. The company purchased a 643,000-square-foot IT hub in Ponce City Market, Atlanta, to service FanDuel’s DFS operations. It also partnered with Atlanta-based Turner Sports as its sportsbook partner for NBA programming. It seems logical that the operator will launch FanDuel Sportsbook in GA when possible.
Australian sportsbook PointsBet has been expanding rapidly in the US, going live in thirteen states. While it hasn’t launched in Tennessee, expansion into the South could begin with a launch in Georgia.
SuperBook, the operator of one of the largest retail sportsbooks in Las Vegas, launched in Tennessee in May 2022. Its online sportsbook is also available in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, and New Jersey, and it may add Georgia to that list in the near future.
Since the departure of the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers, there have been four major sports teams based in Georgia. Each of these franchises calls the state’s largest city, Atlanta, home. Below is an overview of the GA’s professional sports teams.
The Atlanta Braves compete in MLB’s NL East and play games at Truist Park, which opened in 2017. Founded as the Boston Red Stockings, the Braves were a charter member of the National Association of Professional Baseball Players (NAPBBP) in 1871, making them one of the oldest continuously playing teams in American professional sports.
The Red Stockings became the Braves in 1912 to revive the fortunes of an ailing franchise, which had five seasons of losing more than 100 games between 1900 and 1913. The Boston Braves remained in Massachusetts until 1953, when it relocated to Milwaukee before settling in Atlanta in 1966.
Media mogul Ted Turner purchased the team in 1976, turning the franchise into “America’s Team” by broadcasting games nationally on TBS. Between 1991 and 2005, the franchise won 14 consecutive divisional titles.
The Braves have claimed four World Series victories, 22 National League Pennants, and 22 divisional titles. The franchise is the only team in MLB history to win the World Series in three cities (Boston 1914, Milwaukee 1957, and Atlanta 1995 & 2021).
Founded as Buffalo Bisons in 1946, the Atlanta Hawks were a founding member of the NBA in 1949. The team had already moved from Buffalo in 1949, joining as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks playing out of Moline, Illinois. The Blackhawks relocated to Milwaukee in 1951, adopting the Hawks name, then spent some time in St Louis before moving to its current home in Atlanta in 1968.
The Hawks play home games at State Farm Arena and compete in the Eastern Conference Southeast Division. Atlanta currently has the second-longest championship drought of any NBA team – its last championship was in 1958 when the team was in St Louis.
The franchise has won twelve divisional titles but has yet to win a conference championship. The Hawks made the playoffs in ten consecutive seasons between 2008 and 2017.
A current member of the NFL’s NFC South, the Atlanta Falcons first joined the league in 1966. The franchise joined the NFL as its 15th team, as the league wanted to stop the upstart American Football League (AFL) from entering the Atlanta market. Alongside winning the NFC West in 1998, the Falcons reached the 1998 Super Bowl and won the NFC South in 2004, 2010, 2012, and 2016.
Atlanta appeared in its second Super Bowl in 2016 but faced a heartbreaking second-half comeback against Tom Brady’s New England Patriots. The game is known as the “28-3” game, as the Falcons had a 25-point lead, which the Patriots overcame.
The Falcons play home games at the Mercedes Benz Stadium, which opened in 2017.
Atlanta United was formed as an MLS expansion team in 2017 and has risen to become one of the best-supported soccer clubs in the United States. Atlanta United plays its home games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and competes in the Eastern Conference of MLS.
Nicknamed “The Five Stripes,” the team reached the playoffs in its inaugural season and followed that up by winning the MLS Cup in 2018 against Portland Timbers in front of an MLS record crowd of 73,019.
United went on to win the Campeones Cup, played between the winner of Liga MX and MLS, to become the first side from the United States to win this trophy. United won its third trophy in 2019, winning its first US Open Cup by beating Minnesota United 2-1 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Alongside its major league teams, Georgia is a heartland for events in a wide variety of sports. It hosts one of the country’s most storied college football bowl games, the de facto national championship for historically black colleges and universities, a world-famous golf tournament, and elite tennis. We’ve listed a few of these events below.
The Peach Bowl is an annual college football postseason game played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. It is the ninth oldest bowl game in college football history, founded in 1968 by George Crumbley.
Bobby Dodd Stadium, home of Georgia Tech, played host to its inaugural edition before the game moved to Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in 1971, the Georgia Dome in 1993, before finally settling at its current home in 2017.
Since 2014 it has been part of the New Year’s Six college bowls, hosting a College Football Playoff semi-final matchup every three years. In non-CFP semi-final years, the Peach Bowl has a conference tie-in with the SEC & ACC.
The Celebration Bowl is the only postseason bowl game to feature teams from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and is played yearly at Mercedes Benz Stadium.
Beginning in 2015, it features the champions of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), two major conferences of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The winner is considered the de facto national champion of black college football.
The Bowl follows from two previous ‘national championship games’ for HBCUs, the Pelican Bowl and the Heritage Bowl, which ran from 1972-75 and 1991-99, respectively. As a result of its tie-in with the Celebration Bowl, the MEAC and SWAC do not send their champions to the FCS Playoff Tournament.
The Masters Tournament is one of the four major championships in professional golf, played annually at the Augusta National Golf Club, Georgia. After his grand slam in 1930, amateur champion Bobby Jones founded the event in 1934.
The Masters is the year’s first major and has always been held at Augusta rather than rotating courses like the other major championships. The tournament is known for the distinctive green jacket given to the winner, which the winner cannot remove from the Augusta club after their first year as a champion.
Jack Nicklaus won the tournament most often, with six victories between 1963 and 1986. Tiger Woods has won the second-greatest number of times, collecting five green jackets. The total purse for the Masters stands at $15,000,000.
Founded in 1992, the SEC Championship Game was the first conference championship game in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The matchup features the winners of the SEC East and SEC West Divisions. It has been held annually at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta since 1994.
The SEC Championship Game has featured the country’s number-one-ranked team on twelve occasions. Plus, between 2006 and 2013, the winner of the SEC went on to play in the BCS National Championship Game in eight consecutive events.
Since the advent of the College Football Playoff (CFP) in 2014, the champion has gone on to play in the CFP each season, making the national championship game six times. Overall, the winner of the SEC Championship game has gone on to win the National Championship fourteen times. Alabama has won the SEC Championship Game the most times, with ten wins.
The Atlanta Open is a professional men’s tennis tournament played as part of the USTA US Open Series. The neighborhood of Atlantic Station hosts the event with temporary outdoor hard courts and a center court constructed that can host up to 4,000 spectators.
The purse for the tournament is $780,000, and the event is an ATP Tour 250 event, meaning it is worth 250 rankings points for the winner. The tournament was initially held in Indianapolis but was moved to Atlanta in 2010 after struggling with low ticket sales. The Atlanta Athletic Club initially hosted the event before it moved to its current home.
The local fan favorite, John Isner, has won the tournament the most times since it moved to Atlanta, with the former Georgia Bulldog winning six titles and appearing in nine finals.
The earliest sports betting can be legalized is 2023. Attempts to pass legislation failed in both 2021 and 2022 due to disagreements over college sports and other areas. Even if sports betting legislation passes in 2023, it will likely need a public referendum, with the next held in November 2024.
Horse racing betting is not legal in Georgia. Georgia is one of the few US states that does not allow horse racing betting sites like TVG and TwinSpires to operate. In addition, there are no permanent racetracks in the Peach State, although the Georgia Steeplechase and Hawkinsville Harness Festival are held annually.
Sports betting is illegal in Georgia, so there are no sports betting apps that you can use. However, you can travel to neighboring Tennessee to place bets online legally.
No, you cannot place parlay bets in Georgia. Sports betting is not legal in GA, so there are no sportsbooks where you can bet on parlays legally.
To gamble at the state’s only riverboat casino, the Emerald Princess Casino, you must be 21 or older. You can purchase lottery tickets with the state lottery if you’re at least 18 years old.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) exemption that games of skill, including DFS, do not amount to unlawful gambling in the US means sites like FanDuel and DraftKings can offer DFS games in Georgia.
Unfortunately, FanDuel is not available in Georgia because sports betting is illegal in GA. However, GA’s neighboring state Tennessee has licensed FanDuel to offer sports betting to anyone within the state’s borders. You just need to travel to TN to bet with FanDuel legally.
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