Georgia Online Gambling
Welcome to PlayGeorgia, your most trusted source for Georgia online gambling, sports betting and casino news. Legal gambling legislation has failed to advance in the 2023 legislative session, but, based on the policies of Georgia’s biennial legislature, the fight can be renewed next year.
Casino gambling, sports betting, and horse race wagering are all prohibited in Georgia. But there are legal ways to gamble in the state. The Georgia Lottery is especially popular, and unlike in many other states, Georgia allows the purchase of online lottery tickets. Georgians can play daily fantasy sports as well. There are also legal (and popular) coin operated amusement machines, plus gambling games for charity.
As Georgia contemplates adding more legal gambling options, PlayGeorgia will cover it all.
Current Outlook On Georgia Gambling Markets
Real money online casinos are not currently legal in Georgia. Georgians can, however, play online casino games at sweepstakes sites like Pulsz, Chumba Casino, LuckyLand Slots, and Funzpoints. Meanwhile, there are no land-based casinos in Georgia whatsoever. In fact, aside from a casino cruise that moors in Brunswick, there are no casinos in the Peach State at all. The closest casino locations to Georgia exist in nearby states like Florida, Alabama, and North Carolina.
Georgia is home to multiple professional and college sports teams, each with a large fan base. The state also hosts the Masters Tournament and a number of other high-profile sporting events. Of all the types of gambling absent from Georgia, sports betting, and, more specifically, online sports betting appears to be the one with the best chance of legalizing. Lawmakers have discussed various types of sports betting legislation in recent years, always with an eye toward funding education programs with potential sports betting revenue. In 2021, the Senate passed two bills, one to establish a framework for sports betting and another to ask voters to approve a constitutional amendment to do so. But the bills failed to advance despite receiving some support, and a second try in 2022 also came up short. Lawmakers in 2023 took a similar approach but suffered the same outcome. Legislation that provided a “constitutional workaround” and legislation that would have taken the longer constitutional amendment route were both defeated in the Georgia General Assembly. If Georgia does eventually legalize sports betting, expect an online-only system to be their first priority.
The Georgia Lottery is by far the most popular form of legal gambling in the state. Fiscal year 2022 saw nearly $5.8 billion in total lotto sales, a staggering amount but actually a down year compared to FY2021’s $6 billion in total sales. FY2022 also raised $1.5 billion for the state’s educational programs. Players can enjoy a variety of state-run drawing games and instant win scratch-offs. They can also participate in multi-jurisdictional draw games like Powerball, Mega Millions, and Cash4Life. Georgia Lottery players can purchase tickets at more than 8,500 retailers located throughout the state. Moreover, Georgia also is one of the few states in the US that allows players to purchase lottery tickets online.
Daily fantasy sports
Georgia is one of many states with no legislation explicitly forbidding or permitting daily fantasy sports contests. In fact, in 2016, the state’s attorney general issued an informal letter (that is, not a formal opinion) that described DFS as illegal gambling and advised the Georgia Lottery Corp. to treat it as such. Even though the letter bore no weight or force of law, it has certainly cooled any efforts to try to legalize DFS. That said, DFS sites like FanDuel and DraftKings continue to serve players in Georgia.
Georgia does not have legal live or online poker, at least not in the traditional sense. But there are ways to take part in both in the state. For online poker, sweepstakes sites that use virtual currencies are available, the most popular of which is Global Poker, where you can redeem some winnings for cash prizes. For live poker, there are both “bar poker” leagues and charity poker clubs in Georgia, both of which also give Georgians a chance to win prizes. The Atlanta Poker Club is the largest poker league in the state, with regular free-to-play tournaments in over a dozen locations. There are also charity poker rooms in the state run by nonprofit organizations.
Coin Operated Amusement Machines
After years of operating in a quasi legal limbo, Coin Operated Amusement Machines (COAMs) became legal in Georgia in 2013, with the Georgia Lottery in charge of oversight. These COAMs offer a variety of games including pinball and other arcade-style games, Skee-Ball, and coin-operated pool games. Class A COAMs offer no prizes, but Class B machines include games of skill that reward players with points that can carried over and used to play subsequent games. Prizes can include toys, in-store merchandise, gasoline, lottery tickets, and other items — but not cash. COAMs are big business in Georgia, with players spending over $3 billion on the games per year.
No, for the most part. Gambling online for real money is against Georgia law. Real money online casinos, online poker rooms and online sportsbooks are all illegal in the state. Georgia even outlaws advance deposit wagering on horse racing, an exception that many states without legal online gambling still allow. The one type of online gambling Georgia does allow is the online purchase of lottery tickets. In fact, Georgia is one of only a handful of states that permit online lottery sales.
Again, the answer is no. Real money online casinos are illegal in Georgia. You may see online casinos located outside of the state (usually outside the US) suggesting that it is fine for Georgians to deposit and play their games, but these sites are not abiding by Georgia law. Playing on such sites is risky for many reasons, including the fact that if you were to suspect any fraud or issues with the games or if you discovered your funds were not secure, you’d have no legal recourse. When it comes to online casinos, your only legal options in Georgia are social and sweepstakes casinos like Pulsz and Chumba Casino.
No, real money online poker sites are not legal in Georgia, so don’t be fooled by poker sites suggesting that they are. Such offshore sites pose the same risk to Georgians as do online casinos operating outside of Georgia’s legal jurisdiction. One option for Georgia poker players, however, is to play on sweepstakes online poker sites that use virtual currencies. The most popular such site is Global Poker, where players can play a variety of poker games and can even redeem their winnings for cash prizes.
Yes, you can enter daily fantasy sports contests at FanDuel, DraftKings and other DFS sites. Technically speaking, DFS is not explicitly legal in Georgia, but neither are there any laws prohibiting DFS in the state. In other words, as is the case in many states, DFS sites operate in a legal gray area in Georgia.
The Georgia Lottery Corp. oversees the few legal gambling options available in Georgia. If those options were to expand, it is very likely a Georgia Gaming Commission would be created. For example, recent sports betting bills in both chambers of the Georgia Legislature identified the GLC as the intended regulator, and indeed would classify sports wagering as a “lottery game.”
The minimum age to play the Georgia Lottery is 18 years old. That’s also the minimum age to play coin-operated amusement machines, including the Class B COAMs that award merchandise, lottery tickets, and other non-cash prizes. Note, however, that if Georgia were to legalize other forms of gambling such as sports betting or casino gambling, expect the minimum age for those activities to be 21, as is the case in most other states.