Droves Of Georgia Bettors Attempt To Place Bets On Out-Of-State Apps During March Madness

Written By Dan Holmes on March 28, 2024
Atlanta skyline, signifying that GA residents are using sportsbook apps from neighboring states

Even though neither the University of Georgia Bulldogs nor any other in-state school competed in the NCAA Men’s or Women’s College Basketball Tournaments, March Madness has spurred Georgia residents to seek ways to place bets on college hoops and other sports.

According to GeoComply, which serves as a gateway for access to mobile and web-based sports betting apps, approximately 258,000 geolocation checks originated from inside Georgia from March 11-24, the first days of conference basketball tournaments, and the first weekend of March Madness.

Online sports betting in Georgia is currently illegal. However, the final day of the state legislature is today, and a last-chance effort to legalize sports betting is hanging by a thread.

Georgians are downloading legal sportsbook apps in other states

GeoComply reported that about 32,000 unique sports betting accounts from inside Georgia attempted to log in and place sports bets during that time period. These geotagged log-in attempts, represent people who have downloaded sports betting apps in states where they are legal, created accounts in those states, and then traveled back to Georgia where they’ve tried to continue placing bets.

The data shows that sports fans in Georgia seeking to place wagers they cannot legally make in their own state, attempted to check into sportsbooks in neighboring Tennessee, Florida, and North Carolina. Each of those jurisdictions has legal sports betting markets, but GeoComply stops Georgia residents from being able to register and use betting apps while inside the Peach State.

The system is supposed to prohibit bettors from outside a state with legal sportsbooks from placing bets. And that’s how the regulatory oversight is working in North Carolina, for example, where that state recently launched its market in time for March Madness.

GeoComply works with most major sportsbooks in the US

GeoComply has arrangements with many sports betting operators, such as BetMGM, Caesars, FanDuel, and DraftKings. The company verifies the location and legitimacy of customers who register and attempt to use sports betting apps and sportsbook websites.

The data from GeoComply that reveals the activity of Georgia residents trying to place sports wagers comes as state lawmakers debate a bill that would legalize online sportsbooks.

A state assembly bill legalizing online sports betting flew through the State Senate, and then ground to a halt in the House.

However, it passed the Georgia House Committee on Higher Education early this morning and still has a breath of life left. Today is Sine Die day for the Georgia General Assembly, and a discussion and final vote would need to occur before the session closes today. If that happens, the question of whether Georgia should legalize sports betting will be put to Georgia voters in November.

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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a contributor for PlayGeorgia with plenty of experience under his belt. Dan has written three books about sports and previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He also has extensive experience covering the launch of sports betting in other states, including Ohio, Massachusetts and Maryland. Currently, Dan is residing in Michigan with his family.

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