Georgia House Speaker Endorses Legalizing Gambling, Sports Betting

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:

Georgia has long been among the staunchest opponents to legalized gambling in the US, but the tide may soon be changing.


On Thursday it was revealed that the House Speaker, David Ralston, now endorses a legalized gambling constitutional amendment.

“We’ve tripped over the details of this thing for years,” Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, said Thursday during his annual pre-General Assembly session news conference. “Maybe we should just ask Georgians whether they want to allow gaming and, if so, move forward with the details.”

Proposals to legalize casino gambling, pari-mutuel betting on horse racing and/or sports betting in Georgia have come up virtually every year for the last decade.

The state Senate passed a constitutional amendment last year calling for a statewide referendum to legalize sports betting.

A coalition of Georgia professional teams will be present to push for legislation.

Ralston's approach is to lump casinos, horse racing and sports betting into a single measure and many proponents of legalized gambling in the Peach Tree State agree this is the better approach.

Ralston said the issue has picked up momentum heading into this year’s session.

“There is an appetite I haven’t seen before to do something,” he said.

- Gilbert Horowitz,

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