The Georgia Professional Sports Alliance (GPSA) have again voiced their support for legal sports betting in their home state. The GPSA represents the interests of Georgia's professional teams and they have written a letter regarding mobile/online wagering to the Georgia Assembly ahead of their new legislative session.
GSPA Driving Force Behind Potential Legalization
In the state of Georgia, the driving force behind the legalization of sports wagering is the Georgia Professional Sports Alliance. The members of the alliance are the Falcons of the NFL, the Braves of the MLB and Atlanta United of the MLS. All three teams reside in Atlanta and have made the decision to unite for a common cause.
In the letter sent to the Georgia Assembly, the respective team executives argue that although sports gambling has always been something that was frowned upon in the state, it is happening regardless via black market and offshore options. With that in mind, the GSPA would like to see sports betting legalized and taxed.
Legal Sports Betting Faces Several Challenges in Georgia
While the GSPA has a ton of financial power, they will need to flex some political muscle as well if they hope to get things moving towards legalization. In a state that does not have any land-based casinos, it is clear that most forms of gambling are illegal. It won't be easy to go from what is basically an all-out ban on all forms of gambling to launching a legal sports betting market without several hurdles to overcome. The first of which will be the way state law is written in Georgia.
In order for sports wagering to become legal, the state lottery would require voters to approve a constitutional amendment. If that sounds like it might get complicated, it's because it most certainly will be. In order to initiate the necessary constitutional amendment, a two-thirds vote would be required from both the state Senate and the House.
The Masters Looking to Get Involved
There is one professional sports entity outside of the GSPA that will probably look to get involved in the business of legal sports betting. The PGA has been part of the conversation in other states seeking to legalize sports gambling. Of course, their biggest event, the Masters, is played in Georgia. Although it is an event that only takes place for four days a year, it is one of the most wagered on tournaments in the world. Those at Augusta National (home of the Masters) are fully aware and have begun making accommodations to that clientele.
Reports indicate that Augusta National is building a new television and digital compound. It will include images of every player making every shot at every hole. It is said that these images will be as close to real-time as possible. The gambling potential that this new compound is obvious. Those in attendance at the Masters had no way of seeing all of the action at once until now. Imagine the wagering possibilities that having all of the action in one room basically in real-time.
The push for legal sports betting in Georgia does indeed face some very serious hurdles from legal opposition as well as conservative and religious groups that can be found in every corner of the state. That being said, those who do support legal sports wagering have some of the deepest pockets in the state which we know can buy a lot of political support.