GA Sports Betting Bill Likely To Know Committee Fate By Early Next Week

Written By Matthew Bain on March 14, 2024

The Georgia sports betting bill has just one more hurdle to cross before reaching the House floor.

And that hurdle is likely to come by early next week, perhaps even Monday.

Senate Bill 386, legislation that would give voters the option to legalize sports betting in Georgia at the polls this November, faced its first hearing in the Georgia House of Representatives on Tuesday, following passage in the Senate on Feb. 1. At that hearing, conducted by the Higher Education Committee, lawmakers heard brief testimony for and against the bill.

But no vote was taken.

Now, with no more Higher Education Committee meetings on the schedule this week, and with the March 28 end-of-session deadline looking, that body may hear more deliberation on SB 386 and vote on it as early as next Monday or Tuesday.

Hopes are either lost … or alive for another day

If the Higher Education Committee does not vote in favor of SB 386, it has no shot of getting on the November ballot.

If the committee does approve the bill, it would need to be debated and voted upon on the House floor by March 28 in order to be fully passed and sent to Gov. Brian Kemp for his signature.

Sen. Dixon open to amendments, including raising tax rate to 25%

In years past, previous GA sports betting legislation has stalled in the House.

But perhaps this iteration could be different. During Tuesday’s hearing, Sen. Clint Dixon, SB 386’s main sponsor, said he’d be open to amendments to the bill, including providing funding for free school lunches, adding daily fantasy sports to the bill, and bumping the tax rate up to 25%.

PrizePicks is one of the foremost DFS operators in the US, and it’s based in Atlanta. At Tuesday’s hearing, a couple of committee members suggested adding DFS to SB 386 would be good because it would be supporting a major Atlanta company.

“We look forward to working with all the stakeholders in support of inclusion of a fantasy sports regulatory framework to ensure Georgia’s fantasy sports fans are protected and companies can be good economic partners to the state,” said Kayla Lott, executive director of the Coalition for Fantasy Sports, during Tuesday’s meeting.

Photo by PlayGeorgia
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Matthew Bain

Matthew Bain is currently the Content Manager at Catena Media's national online lottery site, PlayiLottery. He used to be the News Content Manager at Catena Media, overseeing news content for the network's highest-priority regional sites. With sports gambling in Georgia gaining traction in 2024, PlayGeorgia was one of his focuses. Prior to joining Catena Media in 2022, Matthew won 10 statewide and national journalism awards during six years as a reporter and editor for the USA TODAY Network. Matthew's work primarily appeared in the Des Moines Register, but he was also featured in the Detroit Free Press, Indianapolis Star, Arizona Republic, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and USA TODAY. Throughout his career, Matthew's bylines have also appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Seattle Times, and Orange County Register.

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