A bill seeking to legalise sports betting in Georgia has been recommitted to the US state’s senate.

Senate Bill 172 was submitted in Georgia in February last year by State Senator Bill Cowsert. It went up against a rival bill, HB380, that also sought to regulate and legalise sports betting in the state.

The bill made it as far as a third reading in the senate. It was shelved in August but has now returned as sponsors seek to push through the bill and launch legal wagering.

The latest version of SB172 is very much unchanged in its core goal. Measures set out in the bill are near enough identical to last year’s version, with proposals covering matters such as licence fees and tax.

No limit on licences issued in Georgia

SB172 comprises several licence types, with each having different fees. The Georgia Sports Betting Commission would oversee the awarding of licences.

A type one sports betting licence covers wagering through an online sports betting provider. This would command an application fee of $100,000 (£78,544/€91,328) and an annual fee of $1.0m.

For physical betting, this requires a type two sports betting retail licence. This comes with an application fee of $500 and an annual $1,000 renewal cost.

Also in relation to retail betting is a type two sports betting distributor licence for supplying self-service betting terminals. In addition, a type two sports betting platform licence allows holders to offer retail sports betting on behalf of retail licensees.

The bill states that there will be no limit on the number of licences offered and issued to operators. However, the Commission will issue a minimum of six type one licences and five type two permits.

Georgia sports betting tax rate to be decided

If licensees breach any rules or regulations decided by the Commission – such as allowing minors to place bets – the Commission has the power to suspend or revoke licences or impose an administrative fine of up to $25,000 per breach.

All licensees would be required to pay tax. While there is no specific information on the tax rate operators and partners would be subject to, the bill outlines that an annual privilege tax will be imposed on adjusted gross income derived from online sports betting.

This consists of 25% of the adjusted gross income from parlay bets, proposition bets and live betting wagers and 20% of adjusted gross income from all other sports betting wagers. This will be paid monthly by type one sports betting licensees.

Should the bill pass into law, it would come into effect on 1 January 2025.

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