Georgia online casinos are not legal. The Peach State lacks any commercial casinos, racinos or casino infrastructure to develop. There are no tribal casinos, either, as no federally recognized tribes are located there.
Here’s a look at the current situation regarding casinos in Georgia, including online casinos. Read on for information about past efforts to legalize casinos in the state and a discussion of when and where casinos could ultimately come to the Peach State.
Play slots online in Georgia
of Gold Coins for $10
Georgia Casino Snapshot
- Are Georgia online casinos legal? No.
- Will they become legal anytime soon? Probably not for at least five to seven years. Online sports betting looks like it will come first, and that may still be at least one year away.
- Are commercial casinos legal in Georgia? No.
- Will Georgia casinos become legal anytime soon? Casino legislation is currently a nonstarter in the Georgia Assembly. Recent sports betting legislation that included commercial casinos didn’t make it out of committee. Without any casino infrastructure and considering Georgia’s biennial legislative cycle, casinos are a few years off.
- Where could Georgia casinos be built? Past casino bills listed Atlanta as a possible site. With over half a million residents, Atlanta is not only Georgia’s largest city but one of the largest in the entire southeast and a logical choice for a casino. Savannah, Columbus, Macon and Augusta have all been considered as well.
- Does Georgia have any tribal casinos? No. Georgia does not even have any federally recognized tribes to fall under the jurisdiction of IGRA, which would allow them to form gaming compacts.
- Are there any other Georgia casino options? Online Sweepstakes Casinos are legal in Georgia. They offer casino-style slot and card games. There is also the Emerald Princess Casino Cruise Ship that operates out of Brunswick. It takes players into international waters on gambling cruises.
- What is the casino gambling age in Georgia? For sweepstakes casinos: 18; for the Emerald Princess: 21
- Are sweepstakes casinos safe? Quite safe. They are regulated by watchdog groups like the Malta Gaming Authority, which protect player identity, and most require identity verification procedures if you wish to play for cash prizes.
Social and sweepstakes casinos in Georgia
As noted, social and sweepstakes casinos are legal in Georgia thanks to their use of virtual currencies rather than real money. Here are some of the best options.
WOW Vegas’ offering of games is among the most comprehensive among all social casinos that offer their services in the US. Currently, there are over 300 titles, much less than in real casinos but more than on most social gaming platforms.
Slots are the most popular type of game, and some of the most played titles are Book of Tut Respin, Hot to Burn Extreme, Juicy Fruity, Big Bass Splash, Sugar Rush, and more. There are 220+ classic slots, and 15 games have the famous Megaways mechanic.
Pulsz is a social casino from Yellow Social Interactive. The site has recently grown significantly and now features over 200 slot titles. It also has table games such as blackjack, baccarat and roulette.
High 5 Casino
High 5 Casino offers over 600 online games created largely by Pragmatic Play and High 5 itself. Slots comprise most of the titles on offer. However, the table games selection is very strong, especially compared to other social and sweepstakes casinos.
The site’s top navigation menu makes it very easy to browse games based on your preferences. There’s always the option to simply scroll the slots or table games libraries, but things get much easier when you narrow down your options. Alongside the usual ‘New’ and ‘Trending’ pages, High 5 allows you to browse via ‘Real Vegas Hits,’ ‘Power Bet,’ ‘Traditional’ and more.
A product of Virtual Gaming Worlds, Chumba Casino features over 80 casino games. These include many slots as well as blackjack, roulette and video poker. Using the sweepstakes model, players play with virtual currencies and can redeem certain winnings for cash prizes.
LuckyLand Slots is another Virtual Gaming Worlds site, this one focused primarily on slots. Like Chumba, LuckyLand offers the option to redeem some winnings for cash prizes. Also, as on Chumba, players can earn various bonuses and other rewards just for playing.
Funzpoints is another option for players seeking the fun of online casino games. Operated by Woopla Inc., the site has more than 30 slot titles, one keno game and daily jackpot drawings. You can play just for fun, or choose the premium mode and have the chance to exchange winnings for cash prizes.
Also worth mentioning is Global Poker, an online poker site that similarly employs the sweepstakes model using virtual currencies. Players can try a variety of poker options in either “cash game” or tournament formats.
Legal online gambling vs. offshore sites
If you look online, you may find online casinos located outside the US that claim to be legal for Georgians. Such claims are false, as these “offshore” sites operate outside US jurisdiction and are thus not beholden to Georgia gambling regulations.
That means you not only risk gambling illegally by playing on these sites, but if you encounter any problems regarding your funds or the fairness of the games, you have no legal recourse. Avoid such sites.
The Emerald Princess
As noted above, you won’t find any commercial or tribal casinos anywhere in Georgia. There is technically one casino that (in a way) calls Georgia home. The Emerald Princess Casino is a casino cruise ship that regularly docks in the southeastern corner of the state in the East River in Brunswick.
Each week the ship takes five- or six-hour trips from Thursday through Sunday. Passengers pay $25 to board, then while the ship sails they can play games in the ship’s casino. There are about 250 slot machines plus a number of table games, including blackjack, roulette and craps.
That’s it when it comes to Georgia casinos. Otherwise, Georgians desiring to play casino games in a live setting must travel out of state to do so (as described below).
What are the closest casinos outside of Georgia?
Florida has several tribal casinos, although most are located in the southern part of the state.
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa is among the closest, a solid three-and-a-half-hour drive from the GA border down I-75. The casino offers 245,000 square feet of gambling space, with about 5,000 slots and close to 180 table games. There’s also a 46-table poker room that frequently hosts major tournament series.
Closer to Georgia are several large poker rooms, such as bestbet Jacksonville.
The western, mountainous part of North Carolina lies just over the northern border, and two tribe-owned casinos operate there, Harrah’s Cherokee (in Cherokee) and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley (in Murphy).
Harrah’s Cherokee is the larger and more popular of the two casinos, featuring 3,00 slots, 160 table games, a 32-table poker room and a number of restaurants and entertainment attractions. Both of the Cherokee casinos are quite close to the state line. In fact, from Atlanta (in the center of GA), it’s only a two-hour drive to Murphy and about two-and-a-half hours to Cherokee. Both Cherokee casinos also offer retail sportsbooks.
Over to the east in the direction of Charlotte is another, newer tribal casino operated by the Catawba Nation tribe, Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain, NC. Currently Two Kings features about 1,000 slots, though it will add more games soon.
To the west in Alabama are a few more casino options — one racino and three tribal casinos.
Over in Shorter, Alabama (a little over an hour’s drive from Columbus on the GA border) is the Victoryland Greyhound Park, which also contains the 777 Victoryland Casino. Though much larger in the past, the casino currently features around 500 slots.
The state’s three tribal casinos are all operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama. These are each Class II gaming facilities that don’t have the full range of casino games but do offer slots-like games.
The Wind Creek Montgomery and Wind Creek Wetumpka are just under two hours west of Columbus and feature more than 2,000 machines apiece. A couple of hours west and to the south is Wind Creek Atmore, a similar facility with 1,700 electronic bingo machines.
History of Georgia casino efforts
Georgia has long opposed most forms of gambling, including casinos. With no federally recognized tribes in the state, tribal casinos have never been an option in Georgia. The idea of legalizing commercial casinos has received some attention of late. That said, such an idea has yet to advance to the point of Georgians voting on a ballot referendum or lawmakers voting to enact legislation.
Here is a summary of recent resolutions and bills related to Georgia casinos and their fates:
- 2017: Rep. Ron Stephens introduces HB 158, and Sen. Brandon Beach introduces SB 79, each of which proposes adding a constitutional amendment to allow two GA casinos. Neither bill makes it out of the lawmakers’ respective committees.
- 2018: Stephens introduces HB 976 to establish a new Georgia State Gambling Commission that would oversee casinos if authorized. The bill does not advance.
- 2019: Stephens introduces HR 327, a resolution to add a referendum to the 2020 ballot asking voters whether they support a constitutional amendment allowing “licensed destination resort facilities where casino gaming is permitted.” The House Economic Development and Tourism Committee approves the resolution, but it fails to gain further support in the full House, and the resolution is withdrawn.
- 2019: Beach and others introduce a similar resolution in the Senate (SR 184), but it is abandoned after being referred to committee. Meanwhile, Beach leads a Senate Study Committee to examine the potential impact of legal casino gambling and horse racing in Georgia, though the group fails to come to any consensus regarding any recommendations.
- 2021: Stephens again introduces a resolution to amend the constitution to allow a “limited number” of resort casinos in the state (HR 30). The bill enjoys bipartisan support from a handful of House co-sponsors, though it gets withdrawn after failing to advance.
- 2022: House Speaker David Ralston begins the year suggesting that lawmakers may once again propose a ballot measure non-specifically inviting voters to say whether they support gambling expansion. “There is an appetite this session that I haven’t seen before to do something,” says Ralston.
- 2023 House Joint Resolution 210 sponsored by Rep. Jame Beverly would have legalized sports betting, pari-mutuel horse racing and casinos, but it died in the Regulated Industries Committee.