Is Gambling Legal in Georgia?
The gambling laws in the US vary from State to State, with Georgia being one of the most conservative. Georgia has a history of stable gambling laws that have continued to maintain the prohibition of most forms of gambling. It is only until the recent years there has been significant calls for gambling to be liberalized, both from the people and the government.
Online gambling remains in a gray area of the law. Neither prohibited or regulated, it is therefore unclear whether gambling online would constitute a breach of the law. There has been no precedence of the law being challenged, and therefore legality remains unknown.
Therefore, similar to other US States, there are some offshore online casino and sports betting sites that accept players from Georgia.
Commercial Land Based Casinos
Georgia State Laws prohibit any form of commercial gambling. Explicitly stated in the law, is that no commercial operator is allowed to offer gambling within the borders of Georgia. Therefore there are no commercially operated land base casinos in Georgia.
The Atlanta Speed Motorway is lobbying the government to amend existing gambling laws to allow an integrated casino appended to their existing facilities in Hampton.
In addition a survey was undertaken in January 2020 in Georgia. Over 60% of respondents did not oppose legalizing the establishment of two land based casinos.
Tribal Land Based Casinos
There are native American tribes in Georgia. Commonly native American tribes are permitted to operate gambling venues on their land title under Federal Law (not State Law). However, there are NO native American tribes that are recognized Federally, thus there are no tribal casinos in the state of Georgia. The Federal ruling was challenged in court, and their ruling was upheld.
International Boat Casinos
International gambling is permitted in international waters. Georgia has allowed two boat casinos to depart from within its border to sail to international waters and offer casino gambling. In this regard, international gambling laws apply and no contravention of Georgia Gambling Laws exists.
Sports betting remains illegal in accordance with all forms of commercially operating gambling prohibited in the state. That said, there is momentum in the government to amend existing State gambling laws to permit sports betting. The recommendation is to have the Georgia State Lottery responsible for sports betting with the creation of a separate committee – Georgia Mobile Sports Betting Commission.
Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily Fantasy Sports remains illegal in accordance with all forms of commercially operated gambling prohibited in the state. This was challenged by DFS providers in 2017, with the Attorney General ruling that DFS is illegal, consistent with the application for all other forms of gambling. It is noted that DraftKing and FanDuel continue to offer DFS to players from Georgia, which technically is a breach of State Gambling Laws.
Bingo is permitted in accordance with Georgia Bingo Statute Laws. Bingo is a licensed form of gambling, with only charitable organizations permitted to offer bingo.
At the time of writing, there are 193 active and 41 inactive licensed bingo organizations within the State. Bingo prizes are capped at a maximum of $1,500 per session or $3,000 per week.
Poker is illegal as per the State Laws which prohibit any form of commercially operated gambling. Therefore there are no card rooms or poker venues available in Georgia.
Horse and Dog Race Betting
Horse and dog race betting is illegal with the State. In accordance with the prohibition of any commercial gambling, horse and dog race betting banned.
Georgia State Lottery
The state lottery is permitted to offer lottery games to residents of Georgia. Only the State Lottery has been given a license to distribute lottery gaming and therefore holds an exclusive state monopoly. The net proceeds from the state lottery are directed to the State’s educational fund. In 2019, the lottery had a turnover of over $4 billion, with the majority generated from instant games.