GEORGIA CASINOS & GAMBLING

Georgia Regulated Gambling:

Lotteries 1992/Video Lottery 2013

Gambling Age in Georgia:

Charity Games/Lotteries 18+

Georgia

Georgia Gambling Overview

Georgia is one of the most gambling-restrictive states in America. Charity gaming, which comprises bingos and raffles, is legal. Aside from that, the only other permitted gambling is lotteries.

Georgia represents one of a handful of states where tribal and commercial casinos are not permitted. In Savannah, Georgia, a cruise ship called The Emerald Princess offers slots and table games on international waters. Their service includes 250 slots, 12 blackjack tables, 2 Stud Poker tables, a craps table, and 2 roulette wheels.

Pari-mutuel and horse race betting, along with sports wagering, are also prohibited.

Almost all forms of Internet gambling are banned, although residents can legally purchase lottery tickets online. No legislation explicitly legalizes (daily) fantasy sports, and thus, it is treated as a skill game that’s tolerated. Big operators like DraftKings, Yahoo! Sports, CBS Sports, and FanDuel accept players from Georgia.

Despite past setbacks to introducing more forms of gambling, public opinion has softened. It would seem that it is only a matter of time before Georgia’s constitution is amended to reflect this changing attitude. Many politicians are recognizing the potential tax revenue implications from sports betting, casinos, and horse racing.

It’s believed sports betting is most likely to pass near term because it’s described as a path of least resistance.

Lotteries

Residents of Georgia can purchase online lottery tickets from the Georgia Lottery, managed by the state government. Proceeds are used to fund education, including the HOPE Scholarship. The state lottery offers instant games (including scratch tickets), draws, and keno. Additionally, the lottery sells multistate tickets, including Mega Millions, Powerball, and Cash4Life. The Georgia Lottery provides a free mobile app for android and iOS.

The entity also regulates coin-operated amusement machines (COAM), considered games of skill.

Charity Games

According to § 16-12-50, recreational bingo halls run by licensed non-profit and tax-exempt organizations are permitted. Bingo prizes cannot exceed $1,500 per day and $3,000 per calendar week. Licenses to Raffles in Georgia are issued by county sheriff offices rather than the state.

Georgia Gambling History

Charity gaming offering bingo and raffles was first legalized in 1976.

In 1992, ‘Peach State’ voters voted for a constitutional amendment that would legalize the state lottery. The Georgia Lottery began regulating video lottery (COAM) in 2013.

In 2012 a Bill to legalize a land-based commercial casino failed to receive the necessary support and died. Profits would have been donated to an educational program.

In 2017 attempts to introduce a casino to Atlanta and either Columbus, Savannah, or Agusta failed.

In 2020, politicians from Georgia led by Republican Sen Burt Jones attempted to legalize sports betting through the Georgia Lottery by introducing Bill 403. The Bill never made it past the committee. Bill HB 903 introduced in June, was an attempt by the Senate to revive the original Bill, but it also failed to pass.

Later that same month, Senate Resolution 841 was voted in favor by the Georgia House Regulated Industries Committee. It would allow an amendment to Georgia’s constitution to enable pari-mutuel wagering, casino gambling, and sports betting via a two-thirds majority in a referendum. It also failed to live past the committee.

In January 2021, lawmakers introduced another Bill to legalize online sports betting. As of February 2021, the Bill has advanced to the state House. It remains unclear as to whether a lottery-run sports betting operation would need a constitutional amendment.

Georgia Gambling FAQ

 

Does Georgia have land-based casinos?

No, Georgia does not permit any form of land-based casinos. This means there are no commercial casinos nor tribal casinos. A cruise ship called The Emerald Princess, departing from Savannah, Georgia offers slots and table games on international waters.

Has Georgia legalized fantasy sports and daily fantasy sports?

Although Georgia has not legalized fantasy sports or daily fantasy sports, no explicit laws prohibit the game. Hence, Georgia residents can participate in DFS/FS without breaking any laws at websites, including DraftKings, Yahoo! Sports, CBS Sports, and FanDuel.

Does Georgia offer state/interstate lotteries?

Yes, The Georgia Lottery was introduced in 1992 after a constitutional amendment. Players from Georgia can purchase both state (and interstate) lottery tickets, local keno, and scratch tickets. This entity also regulates video lottery (COAM).

Are there state and federal taxes on Georgia lottery winnings?

Yes, The Georgia Lottery withholds state taxes of 5.75% and federal taxes of 24% on prizes above $5,000.

Is online gambling legal in Georgia?

Online gambling in Georgia is prohibited except for lottery tickets that can be purchased online. Online daily fantasy sports and fantasy sports are tolerated since they are considered games of skill but are not explicitly legal.

Is sports betting legal in Georgia?

No sports betting in Georgia is currently prohibited.

What forms of gambling in Georgia are legal?

Georgia has some of the most restrictive gambling laws in the United States. The only legal forms of gambling are state lotteries and charity gaming.

Are fantasy sports and daily fantasy sports legal in Georgia?

There is nothing in the Georgia Constitution to prohibits DFS/FS. However, these forms of betting are not explicitly legal either. The state has turned a blind eye to these games as they are considered games of skill. Georgians can find big providers like DraftKings and Fan Duel, who accept players from the state.

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