ATLANTA – Legislation to legalize online sports betting in Georgia gained momentum in the state Senate Thursday just as it appeared to get sidetracked in the Georgia House of Representatives.
A Senate committee passed a constitutional amendment that would put sports betting on the statewide ballot next year for Georgia voters to decide. Senators decided to pursue the referendum route after the House postponed a floor vote on a bill aimed at legalizing sports betting without changing the state Constitution.
As was the case during previous legislative hearings on legalizing gambling, the sports betting proposal drew opposition from representatives of faith-based groups.
Mike Griffin, representing the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, said online sports betting, which can be accessed through the convenience of a cellphone, is particularly prone to attracting problem gamblers.
“The majority of people who gamble are responsible” he said. “It’s the irresponsible people who contribute the most money.”