Georgia is essentially a land-based gambling-free state. You won’t find any tribal or commercial casinos here and pari-mutuel betting isn’t available. Some forms of charity gambling are allowed and the state has a lottery, which has been launched back in the nineties.
As you’ve probably already guessed, this means that Georgia residents don’t have any intrastate iGaming sites to play on. All in all, if you want to gamble in Georgia, your best bet would be to sign up with one of the numerous US-facing offshore gambling sites and online casinos that accept Georgia players.
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Section 16-12-20 of Georgia’s gambling law outlines and bans gambling on all games of chance involving cards, dice, and balls. Maintenance of gambling devices is also prohibited.
Even with all these explicit bans, Georgian residents have been finding ways to gamble for years. One of the most popular methods is to board a casino boat and sail three miles off the coast of the US where international waters law allows gambling. A word of warning to players: since boat casinos only accept wagers in international waters, they aren’t required to follow payback percentages or house edge regulations. There are currently two casino boats operating in Georgia:
In 2012, the Georgia Senate voted in favor of building a casino whose profits would pay for public education programs. Before the bill was signed, Governor Nathan Deal stopped it on the grounds that a larger majority was necessary for the legislation to pass.
Recently in 2018, Representative Ron Stephens of South Georgia drafted a bill which would allow for the creation of three super-sized casino/resort establishments. At the time of this writing, the bill was still being processed, so its results are unknown.
Players looking for offshore casinos can play online blackjack, craps, and other table games as well.
In 2013, Georgia started offering regulated video poker machines at most retail stores that sell lottery tickets.
Georgia state law explicitly prohibits sports betting. Currently, there are no publicly announced bills in the works to amend the state legislation.
The public and political scenes are putting up resistance against sports betting legalization in Georgia. As a result, the chances of this state legalizing sports betting in the near future are slim.
There is no differentiation between electronic sports (eSports) and traditional gambling in Georgia criminal law, and there does not appear to be a move to change this.
In March of 2018, House Bill 118 successfully made it onto the Senate floor but was then put on hold. Until further action is taken on BH 118, fantasy sports gambling will remain illegal in Georgia. Given the mounting resistance and the bill’s loss of momentum, the chances of fantasy gambling being legalized soon are moderate-to-low.
Gambling on animal racing such as dogs and horses is prohibited in Georgia. There are also no racing tracks located in the state.
Georgia residents may play poker within their homes and workplaces as long as no player buy-ins or valuables are being wagered.
It has become common practice in many bars in Georgia to host poker tournaments that award prizes to top contenders. Due to the wording of the state laws, these poker tournaments are legal as long as players don’t wager money during play and the bars only earn profit through selling drinks and food.
Gamblers can also choose from our list of recommended online casinos for excellent poker options.
Although Georgia had a long stretch of banning lotteries, in 1992 an amendment to Article I, Section II of the Georgia State Constitution legalized them. Currently, Georgia runs a state lottery and allows most of the popular multi-state lottery games, such as:
However, not all notable multi-state lottery games can be played in Georgia. Popular games that are unavailable in this state include:
Georgia residents also have access to a wide variety of in-state lotteries, with games such as:
Lottery winners claim 45% of the prize money, while 35% goes to Georgia’s Lottery for Education fund. The remaining share of winnings returns to the establishments and organizations that operate the lottery. Players must claim their winnings within 180 days.
Bingo and other charitable gaming events must be run by licensed, non-profit organizations such as churches, schools, and other civic establishments.
Prizes can include cash as long as the organizers comply with Georgia gambling regulations. Due to the legislation, most charitable gambling venues offer terrible payback percentages.
Bingo halls and events can be found all over Georgia.