Legalized sports betting could be headed to Georgia in 2025, and with it comes the prospect of a 20% tax rate on revenue.
Introduced Tuesday, SB 57 would allow up to 18 sportsbooks in Georgia. Each sportsbook license would be valid for up to 20 years. Under the bill, the Georgia Lottery would regulate sports betting in the state.
So, let’s take a closer look at SB 57, examine that 20% tax rate and dive into which programs could be in line for more funding.
How does Georgia’s proposed 20% tax rate compare to other states?
This isn’t the first time legalized Georgia sports betting has been put on the table. In 2020, a measure calling for a 10% tax rate failed.
Much like how each state has its own stance on sports betting, revenue taxation rates vary by location. The 20% sports betting tax rate is not the largest percentage in US states, but it’s not the smallest, either.
Tennessee is the only state that has the same sports betting taxation rate as Georgia’s proposed rate. A few states have a higher rate. New Hampshire and Rhode Island both impose a 51% tax (50% for New Hampshire’s retail). New York boasts a 51% rate for online sports betting. Delaware’s rate sits at 50%. Pennsylvania has a tax rate of 34%.
A few states have rates below 10%. In Oregon, just 2.3% goes toward taxes. Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada and New Jersey all fall below 10% as well.
Across the country, sports betting revenue was up from the previous year, signaling a positive sign for the industry. An American Gaming Association report detailed that from January to November of 2022, Americans wagered $83.13 billion on sports. That resulted in $6.56 billion in revenue. That revenue total stands as a 65.4% jump from the same timeframe in 2021.
Looking at Georgia, specifically, a PlayUSA report indicates the state could net up to $600 million in annual revenue.
Where does sports betting tax revenue go under SB 57?
Tax revenue from legalized sports betting in The Peach State would go toward the Lottery for Education account.
Georgia Lottery proceeds go toward tuition grants and scholarships to undergraduate students. The grants and scholarships target students attending eligible state colleges, universities or technical colleges. Additionally, funds go toward the Georgia Prekindergarten Program for all 4-year-olds.
More than 2.1 million students attended colleges through the Georgia HOPE scholarship program, and 1.7 million 4-year-olds attended Georgia’s Prekindergarten Program through the fund as well. According to the lottery’s website, funds previously went toward “capital outlay projects.” Those projects included upgrading the technology at schools, colleges and universities throughout the state. Schools enjoyed more than $1.8 billion in upgrades via these funds.
In July, the Georgia Lottery hit the $25 billion mark in educational funding. George Gov. Brian Kemp said it was a massive achievement.
“Almost 30 years since its inception, the Georgia Lottery Corp. has had a massive impact on a generation of Georgians. Students have been set on the path to lifelong learning through Pre-K programs and have been afforded the opportunity to advance their careers through higher education. This $25 billion has helped Georgia maintain a highly-qualified workforce and experience tremendous growth, and I look forward to continuing to see young Georgians’ lives transformed by these dollars.”