Online Casinos in Georgia

Real money online casinos in Georgia are not currently legal, nor are they expected to become legal any time soon. Georgia lawmakers have been seriously contemplating legalizing online sports betting, and while that hasn’t happened yet the introduction of online sportsbooks in GA will undoubtedly come before any consideration of online casinos.

Neither does the state have any retail casinos, although you can legally play casino games online in Georgia at several different social and sweepstakes casinos. These sites offer slots, table games, and even in some cases live dealer games that use virtual currencies. You can play on social and sweepstakes sites for free, and in some cases the sites offer chances to redeem winnings for cash prizes. 

Read on for a full rundown of the current state of casino gaming in Georgia including information about social and sweepstakes casinos, casino options in nearby states, and a historical overview of casino efforts in Georgia.

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 social and sweepstakes casinos are legal in Georgia. They offer casino-style slot and card games, and in some cases live dealer games as well. These social and sweepstakes are free to play and in some cases offer opportunities to redeem winnings for cash prizes. There is also the Emerald Princess Casino Cruise Ship that operates out of Brunswick that takes players into international waters on gambling cruises.
  • What is the casino gambling age in Georgia? For sweepstakes casinos, you must be at least 18 years old to play. The minimum to play games aboard the Emerald Princess is 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

WOW Vegas has one of the most comprehensive game libraries of all the social and sweepstakes casinos. Currently, there are over 700 slots with more being added on a regular basis. These include many exclusive titles as well as slots developed at top studios like Pragmatic Play, Novomatic, and Betsoft. 

McLuck Casino

McLuck Casino also has hundreds of slots to choose from including favorites from NetEnt, Pragmatic Play, Playson, and other studios, with the chance to win a McJackpot on every spin. McLuck Casino also features live dealer games where you can play blackjack, baccarat, and roulette.

High 5 Casino

High 5 Casino offers the largest slot selection of any social and sweepstakes site with more than 1,000 slots. These include a number exclusive titles plus many more from Pragmatic Play. You can also play live dealer games at High 5 Casino, including blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and a Casino Hold’em game.  

Pulsz

Pulsz is a social casino that has expanded its game library significantly to include more than 700 different games. There’s an abundance of slots that includes plenty of in-house titles plus casino classics from NetEnt like Starburst and Twin Spin Megaways. Pulsz has different keno games, hi-lo, dice games, blackjack, and Texas Hold’em Poker. 

Funzpoints

Funzpoints is another option for players seeking the fun of online casino games. The site now has more than 90 different games from which to choose, most of which are slots with one keno game as well. Funzpoints has daily jackpot drawings and offers other ways to win, and like the other sites features a “premium” mode in which your winnings can later be redeemed for cash prizes.  

Stake.us

Stake.us is another great choice among the social and sweepstakes sites with a great site design and game selection. Currently you can play almost 700 different slots at Stake.us including many popular titles from Pragmatic Play, Hacksaw Gaming, and over a dozen other providers. Table games are available as well, including blackjack, roulette, baccarate, hi-lo, and a couple of poker variants. There are 12 live dealer games, too, including blackjack, roulette, baccarat, Sic Bo and others. 

Other social and sweepstakes casinos you can play from Georgia include:

  • Chanced
  • Chumba Casino
  • LuckyLand Slots
  • Golden Hearts Games
  • DingDingDing

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

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

North Carolina

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 3,000 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, the Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain. Currently Two Kings features about 1,000 slots, electronic table games, and a sportsbook.

Alabama

To the west in Alabama are a few more casino options, including 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.
  • 2024: The Senate Economic Development & Tourism Committee voted in favor of a resolution (SR 538) to create a referendum to legalize both casinos and sports betting that would appear on the Nov. ballot, though the resolution advanced no further.