Georgia sports betting is still not legal, although that is not for lack of effort. Lawmakers have introduced multiple sports betting bills over recent years, but none have advanced. Even so, the number of sports betting proponents continues to increase.
Legal sports betting in Georgia would seem fitting since sports remain in focus all year round. With several of the state’s pro teams, casino industry representatives, online sportsbooks, and many voters and lawmakers all backing Georgia sports betting and the launch of Georgia sportsbooks, we’ll be keeping a close eye on any new developments.
Read on for an overview of where sports betting currently stands in Georgia and what is likely to happen next.
Latest Georgia Sports Betting Updates
Updated: Sept. 15, 2023
- During Week 1 of the NFL season, GeoComply recorded 92,000 geolocation check-ins from would-be sports bettors in Georgia, from 13,000 account holders. That figure represents the number of people inside Georgia state borders who logged onto their app to place a bet or created a new sports betting app.
- UGA alum Brian Harman won the 2023 British Open in convincing fashion. However, because sports betting in Georgia has not been legalized, Bulldogs fans could not cash in on Harman’s first major championship.
Georgia Sports Betting News
Snapshot of Georgia Sports Betting
- Is sports betting legal? Not in any form.
- Potential Launch Date: If a constitutional amendment is not required, late 2024. If the constitutional amendment route is taken, 2025 at the absolute earliest. No existing infrastructure means a launch could take over a year to roll out.
- Availability: online sports books would give the most ease of access. Retail sports betting through sports betting kiosks at bars and restaurants with liquor licenses.
- Anticipated betting apps: All the major operators, including FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesar’s, PointsBet.
- Legal age for sports betting: Almost certainly 21 years old.
- Need to be a resident: No. It does not matter where you are from. You only need to be within state lines for geolocation services to grant you access to mobile apps
- Other betting options: daily fantasy sports contests from Georgia on any of the popular DFS sites like DraftKings and FanDuel.
Key Information for Georgia Bettors
- Georgians who currently want to bet on sports legally will need to travel across state lines to North Carolina or Tennessee. Florida may also be an option soon.
- You might find conflicting information about sports betting’s legality elsewhere online. Bottom line: Any site that currently accepts bets from someone in Georgia is an offshore site. And thus it is not legal.
- Legality is likely the least of the reasons that you should avoid playing on an offshore site. Such sites are based outside of the United States and do not have any reason to follow Georgia or US law. They also don’t answer to lawsuits or other legal actions filed in Georgia. That means if you end up in a dispute with one of these sites, you may have little recourse for relief.
Georgia Responsible Gaming Options
Please read through PlayGeorgia’s dedicated Responsible Gaming page for in-depth information for both gamblers and providers.
In the meantime, here are a few key resources to keep at the ready should you decide to do any form of gaming.
- Georgia Council on Problem Gaming: The Georgia affiliate of the National Council on Problem Gambling. Based in Atlanta, the GCPG is a non-profit run by volunteers who are there to help people suffering from problem gambling. Anyone can get help through their website or by call their 24/7 hotline at 800-522-4700.
- Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities: This state agency has a limited budget for assisting problem gamblers, but it can also help gamblers get connected with trained professionals. The GDBHDD website can help gamblers get connected with one of four state-run treating facilities. They can also be reached via phone during weekday business hours at 404-657-2252.
- Georgia Crisis and Access Line: Another hotline available to assist problem gamblers. The GCAA operates 24/7 at 866-922-7369.
- Georgia Lottery Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program: Through the Georgia Lottery website, players can sign up for the voluntary self-exclusion program. By entering the program, players can block themselves from any online or mobile lotto play for different lengths of time. This program does not permit players from purchasing tickets at lottery retailers.
Georgia Sports Betting Timeline
- 2018: The United States Supreme Court overturns PASPA, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which had outlawed sports betting outside of Nevada.
- 2020: The Georgia Legislature introduces the first sports betting bills (House Bill 570 and House Resolution 380) in the state. None advance beyond the originating chambers.
- 2021: The Georgia Senate votes twice in favor of legalizing sports betting through a constitutional amendment (Senate Joint Resolution 135 and Senate Bill 142), authorizing the Georgia Lottery to act as a regulator and allocating gambling revenue to the Georgia HOPE scholarship. The Georgia House also files House Bill 86, similarly legalizing online sports betting through the Georgia Lottery via a constitutional amendment. HB 86 passes out of committee before stalling in the full House in March 2021. One factor contributing to the bill’s failure to advance was the Democrats withholding support in response to Republicans’ separate efforts to reduce access to voting.
- 2022: In the second year of Georgia’s biennial legislature, SJR 135 and SB 142 are revived and pushed through a House committee. However, all sports betting language is gutted from SJR135, and the resolution passes without any sports betting provisions.
- 2023: Five pieces of sports betting legislation taking both the constitutional amendment route and a shorter “constitutional workaround” fail to advance before Crossover Day. Two were in the House (House Resolution 210 and House Bill 380) and three were in the Senate (Senate Resolution 140, Senate Bill 172 and Senate Bill 57). One bill with sports betting language (House Bill 237) remains alive.
Georgia sportsbook apps
Given the focus on online sports betting in Georgia, it seems clear that if the activity does become legal, you can expect a variety of online sportsbooks to launch. After all, Georgia has a population of over 10.5 million, placing it just inside the top 10 most populous states in the country. That includes a large number of sports fans.
As a result, expect all of the major online sportsbooks to seek entry into Georgia, and probably some smaller ones, as well. Once the law is official, these top sportsbook apps will be likely options for Georgia sports bettors:
- FanDuel GA: Over recent years the daily fantasy sports provider has become a major online sportsbook, as well. FanDuel Sports has already signaled its keen interest in Georgia by opening an office in Atlanta.
- DraftKings GA: Like FanDuel, DraftKings started with daily fantasy sports and now has become one of the largest online sportsbooks in the country. Also like FanDuel, DraftKings already accepts Georgians to play its DFS contests.
- Caesars GA: Caesars Sportsbook enjoys one of the most recognizable brands in the gambling industry. Thanks to a recent national advertising blitz, Caesars has emerged as another popular online sportsbook option in many states.
- BetMGM GA: MGM Resorts’ online sportsbook has significantly increased its reach, as well. The number of states in which BetMGM Sportsbook operates has reached double-digits.
Expect Georgia betting apps to become available for both iOS and Android mobile systems. In addition, several other online sportsbooks could potentially launch in Georgia as well, including PointsBet/Fanatics, BetRivers and Barstool/ESPN Bet.
How to get started at a Georgia sportsbook
Should Georgia legalize online sports betting, you’ll want to know how to sign up for an account at an online sportsbook and what to expect after you do. Here’s a quick primer.
Signing up for a Georgia online sportsbook account
Generally speaking, signing up for an online sportsbook account is a simple and quick process. You will need to provide some personal information as the sites will need to ensure you are at least 21 years old and that you are who you say you are. Providing this information not only helps the sportsbooks abide by rules and regulations but also helps ensure the security of your online sportsbook account.
Expect to provide the following information when registering:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Phone number
- Email address
- Physical address
- Last four digits of your Social Security number
Typically that’s all there is to it. You can create an account and start looking around at the different betting options right away. When you decide to deposit funds and begin placing wagers, you’ll likely need to provide some additional information depending on the banking method you choose. Speaking of, online sportsbooks usually offer a number of options for depositing and withdrawing:
- Online banking
- Debit or credit card
- Check or money order
- Other online payment systems (e.g., PayPal, Skrill)
Once you make a deposit, you’ll find it easy to find games, select bets, place wagers and then track your results.
Georgia sportsbook bonuses and promotions
When creating an online sportsbook account and making that first deposit, keep your eyes open for bonuses and promotions. Especially when there are competing online sportsbooks (as will no doubt be the case in Georgia), you’ll often find lots of incentives to deposit and place bets.
Indeed, before signing up for an account, you should first spend some time looking over the sites and learning what kinds of bonuses and promotions they offer. Here are some popular options:
- Deposit match — The site matches your first deposit with an equivalent amount, usually with a wagering requirement necessary to unlock the bonus funds.
- Bonus bets — Place your first wager; if it loses, get the money back as site credits or a bonus bet.
- Designated game promotions — Receive site credits or bonus bets for wagering on certain games or markets, or for placing certain types of parlays.
- Insurance — Bets that award money back in the event of certain outcomes (e.g., your team scores five runs or more but still loses).
- Profit boosts — Receive more favorable odds and payouts when placing specific bets.
- Parlay boosts — Improve your odds for certain types of parlays.
- “Refer a friend” bonuses — Receive funds or site credits for referring a friend to register an account.
- Free-to-play pools — Some sites have pools and other contests (e.g., brackets, survivor pools) that cost nothing to play and award cash prizes.
Some sites have loyalty programs as well that enable you to earn points every time you place a wager and then redeem those points for bonus bets or other rewards.
Closest places for Georgians to bet on sports
If you’re located in the northern half of Georgia and want to place legal sports bets, you do have a couple of options if you’re willing to drive over the border either to Tennessee or North Carolina.
As noted, sports betting is legal in Tennessee, although state law entirely restricts the activity to online sportsbooks. The good news is you can bet on these sites from anywhere in Tennessee, so all Georgia residents have to do is cross the state line in order to place a bet.
Online sportsbooks use geolocation technology to ensure users are located in Tennessee when placing their wagers. You can, however, open an account from anywhere, including from Georgia. You can even deposit and withdraw funds from outside Tennessee, but you have to be within state lines before you can place a wager.
There’s a large selection of online sportsbooks to choose from in Tennessee, including the following:
- Action 24/7
North Carolina has a couple of retail sports betting options available at the two Cherokee casinos located in the western part of the state:
- Harrah’s Cherokee Casino (in Cherokee)
- Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino (in Murphy)
Both of these casinos have full-fledged retail sportsbooks replete with betting windows and kiosks as well as large video walls where you can follow the action.
Currently, NC only allows sports betting at these two locations. However, like Georgia, North Carolina lawmakers are considering legalizing online sports betting throughout the state. That’s another development worth keeping an eye on for Georgia sports bettors living in the northern part of the state.
Favorite sports betting markets in Georgia
Most sportsbooks offer bettors a variety of sports on which to bet. Football, basketball, baseball and hockey are the most popular options in the US. But you’ll find many other sports available as well, including some involving leagues based in Europe, South America, Asia and elsewhere.
- Australian rules football
- Mixed martial arts
- Table tennis
Types of sports bets in Georgia
You can be assured sportsbooks will offer all of the most popular types of sports wagers. Standard sports bets include the following:
- Moneylines: A “straight” bet on which side will win a game. Moneyline bets do not involve point spreads. Instead, the favorites and underdogs have varying odds, with winning bets on favorites paying out less than winning bets on underdogs. For instance, say the Atlanta Hawks are favored to beat the Charlotte Hornets, with the Hawks at odds of -130 and the Hornets at +175. A winning bet of $130 on Atlanta would pay $100, while a winning bet of $100 on Charlotte would pay $175.
- Point spreads: A bet that takes into account the margin of victory. In the above example, the Hawks might be 3.5-point favorites over the Hornets. If the Hawks win by four or more, a point spread bet on Atlanta would win. If the Hornets win or lose by no more than three points, a spread bet on Charlotte would win.
- Totals: An over/under bet on the combined score of a game. If the totals line in the Atlanta Falcons-New Orleans Saints game is 47.5, an “over” bet wins if the two teams combine for 48 or more, while an “under” bet needs the teams not to exceed 47 total points.
- Futures: A bet on an outcome that won’t be decided until a future date. Examples include a preseason bet on which team will win the Super Bowl, a bet on which player will win the MVP or the Cy Young Award and the like. Many futures bets have long odds, which means they are hard to win but pay well when they do.
- Propositions: So-called “prop” bets involve wagering on smaller events within a game. These can include totals bets on how many points a player will score or how many yards a player will gain. Those are examples of player props. You can also place team props on various stats by one of the teams in a game (e.g., total hits, total rebounds, total receiving yards, etc.).
- Parlays: Parlay bets combine two or more wagers into a single bet, with each “leg” needing to be correct in order for the entire bet to pay out. Many online sportsbooks now have “same-game parlays,” which allow you to combine multiple bets from a single contest (e.g., a parlay combining a moneyline bet on the Atlanta Braves to win, a prop bet on the number of home runs the Braves and their opponent will hit, and a prop on the total number of strikeouts both teams will have).
- Live betting: Expect Georgia sportsbooks also to offer live or “in game” betting, which allows you to wager on games already in progress. Such live bets can include moneyline, point spread and totals bets on the game’s outcome or on a variety of individual and team props. Odds and payouts for live bets will shift rapidly and frequently in response to how the game is going
Popular sports teams to bet on in Georgia
Georgia is home to a number of high-profile professional sports franchises. The state has also hosted a number of important sporting events over the years.
Each spring the Masters Tournament, golf’s most prestigious event, takes place in Augusta. The state has hosted several other major games and tourneys, as well, including the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four, the Super Bowl and the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Here are some of Georgia’s favorite teams to root for. Should sports betting arrive, they’d be favorites to bet on, too.
The Atlanta Braves have a huge fan base not only in Georgia but around the country thanks to many years of games appearing on the TBS cable network (once known as the TBS SuperStation). Fans routinely pack Truist Field to root the team on, particularly given its recent success. Over the years, the Atlanta Braves have claimed numerous division crowns as well as World Series titles in 1995 and 2021.
The Atlanta Hawks have likewise enjoyed success over the years, consistently making the NBA playoffs while exciting fans at State Farm Arena. Currently led by breakout star Trae Young, the Hawks made a surprising trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2020-21.
The Atlanta Falcons have fans throughout Georgia and the southeast. After many years entertaining fans at the Georgia Dome, the Falcons now play their home games at nearby Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Though they have struggled of late, the team has reached the Super Bowl two times, most recently in 2017.
The Atlanta United FC also play their home games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. After making its Major League Soccer debut in 2017, the club has built one of the biggest fan bases in the league, making the MLS Cup playoffs multiple times and even qualifying to compete in the CONCACAF Champions League.
College sports are big in Georgia, especially college football. The SEC dominates the college football landscape, and the Georgia Bulldogs have been among the conference’s best of late. The Bulldogs have fans well beyond Athens, especially after winning their second NCAA title in 2022.
The ACC’s Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Atlanta have also won NCAA football titles, and both Georgia and Georgia Tech have had strong men’s basketball squads, as well. Meanwhile, the Georgia Southern Eagles in Statesboro and the Georgia State Panthers in Atlanta have strong support as well, with both competing in the Sun Belt Conference.
FAQ about Georgia sports betting
The Georgia Lottery Corp. currently regulates both the state-run lottery and coin operated amusement machines in Georgia. All proposed legislation thus far designates the GLC as the intended regulatory body for legal sports betting, as well. Indeed, the bills specifically describe the game as “the lottery game of sports wagering,” indicating a desire to collect sports betting under the GLC’s purview.
Not yet, and perhaps not even if Georgia does legalize sports betting. The bill that the Senate passed in 2021 would prohibit betting on college sports contests involving Georgia teams. Meanwhile, the House bill that did not pass ruled out betting on college sports altogether. If either bill were to pass as currently written, bettors in Georgia wouldn’t be able to wager on the Bulldogs or any other GA college team.
No, not yet. Once Georgia does legalize sports betting, chances are good FanDuel, DraftKings and other major online sportsbooks will seek to launch in the state. People in Georgia can, however, currently participate in daily fantasy sports contests at both FanDuel and DraftKings as well as at other DFS sites.