Posted on: Jan 25, 2023 01:55 am.
Last updated on: January 25, 2023 02:02 am.
Nearly half of Georgia voters support legalizing sports betting in the state. But that’s well below 2020 levels.
A recent survey by Constitution of the Atlanta Journal shows that 48% of respondents said they agree with sports betting being sanctioned by the state, while 37% disagree. In a similar 2020 poll, 57% supported regulatory sports betting in the state.
Respondents contacted by the AJC said they support allowing sports betting in Georgia if the money is spent wisely, such as on educational programs like the HOPE Scholarship or need-based scholarships.” reports the Magazine Constitution.
During the 2022 midterm election, Georgia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams attempted to use sports betting as a way to boost funding for the HOPE grant program. But she was defeated by Republican incumbent Brian Kemp.
Georgia’s Sports Betting Outlook Mixed
In the fast-growing southern state, more education funds are needed. In Georgia, lottery expenses fund HOPE College’s scholarship program. However, as Georgia has a larger population, HOPE funds only 70% of recipients’ university costs. This shortage has prompted some politicians to offer casinos and sports betting as ways to fill the gap.
However, laws to expand gambling in Georgia – whether it’s casinos or sports betting – have historically stalled. And that’s despite a University of Georgia poll last October showing that six out of 10 Georgians support bringing casino resorts to the state.
There is speculation that the political landscape in Georgia, even among Republicans, is shifting toward a more hospitable attitude toward gaming expansion.
While Kemp hasn’t signaled a clear opinion on casinos, pari-mutuel establishments or sports betting lately, there is growing belief that some of the results of the 2022 midterm elections favor more regulated gaming options in the state. As an example, the new Lt. gov. Burt Jones, a Jackson Republican, previously authored sports betting legislation.
Former Georgia Chief Justice Harold Melton, who may have added momentum for sports betting legislation this year, recently said the issue does not require a constitutional amendment, potentially paving the way for easier passage.
Other Polls Odds and Ends
the Constitution of the Atlanta Journal did not address sports betting and touched on other issues, including voters’ views on abortion rights and runoff elections.
After two Senate runoffs in 2020 and another in 2022, Georgia voters seem fed up with these events, as 58% support giving victory to the candidate with the most votes on Election Day. That would change the state’s policy of requiring a candidate to get at least 50% of the vote.
On the subject of abortion, 49% of those polled by the newspaper said access to abortion in Georgia should be easier, while 24% said current rules should remain in place. A further 21% support further restrictions.