Backers begin another bid to legalize sports betting in Georgia

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A Republican state lawmaker filed legislation this week to legalize online sports betting in Georgia, aiming to expand gambling without the constitutional amendment that’s usually required.

House Tourism and Economic Development Chairman Ron Stephens of Savannah filed a bill Thursday that would authorize the Georgia Lottery to manage an online sports wagering system, with some proceeds going to fund HOPE scholarships.

Supporters of sports betting have said the illegal sports betting market in Georgia is $1.5 billion, so it only makes sense for the state to regulate the system.

“It’s anticipated to bring upward of $100 million in tax revenue,” Stephens said. “In the big scheme of things, it’s not a lot, but its an additional game that the lottery would offer.”

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