Georgia and New York Abandon Sports Betting in 2021
At the start of the year, 2021 seemed to be a promising year for online gambling and sports betting legislation. However, in recent weeks, we’ve seen setback after setback and we have the unenviable task of reporting on two more bill failures.
A promising gambling measure in Georgia is officially dead as the 2021 legislative session ended with the bills receiving a vote in the Senate. Meanwhile, it appears that mobile sports betting is not coming to New York. The Governor failed to add sports betting to the 2021 budget. As such, the matter is likely dead until 2022.
Georgia Sports Betting Bill Dies in Senate
You’ve likely read our report on Georgia Senate Resolution 135 that would have allowed GA citizens to vote on whether to amend the state constitution to allow online sports betting. Had the bill manage to pass, citizens could vote on the measure during the 2022 general election. Unfortunately, the bill failed to pass as it never came to a vote in the Senate.
According to a report in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the bill was to be debated on the Senate floor, but it never got there. Originally, it was pulled for tweaking. Afterward, the bill was sent back to the floor multiple times to no avail. House Democrats did not support the bill and there was not enough Republican support to revive the bill.
The legislative session ended last week without the bill receiving a vote. That means that the measure is dead for this year. However, not all is lost. Georgia operates on a two-year legislative cycle. As such, the bill can be revisited in 2022. However, that would also reset the clock on any potential vote should it pass. This means that sports betting would not be put on the ballot until at least 2023.
It is likely that this bill will come back next year. The major sports franchises in the state support online gambling, and it is estimated to bring significant tax revenue to the state. However, the bill will need to pick up a bit more support to have a realistic chance of passing.
New York Online Sports Betting Done for 2021
New York was one of the early surprises in 2021 when Governor Andrew Cuomo came out in support of mobile sports betting. Retail sports betting is already legal in New York, but online sports betting has not been approved by the legislature. Much of the holdup had been revolving around the lack of support by the Governor.
With the Governor in support of the matter, it seemed that this would be the year it would happen. Then everything began to stall. The main point of contention is the model to be used to run sports betting. Gov. Cuomo wants the state Lottery in charge. Lawmakers want a system where both brick-and-mortar casinos and the Lottery run things.
The point where it became clear things weren’t happening this year is when the Governor failed to add it to the 2021 state budget. Senator Joseph Addabbo has stated that negotiations with the Governor are the stalling point. He also says that since sports betting is not on the budget, it is likely not to happen in 2021.
According to Addabbo, “New York should be perceived as a business-friendly state. This is such a money generator. I’ve spoken to providers who want to do business in New York and all we are doing is giving them incentive to do business in New Jersey.”
Should New York ever bring mobile sports betting live, it would become the premier state for sports betting in the nation. New Jersey is presently the top dog for both sports betting and real money online casinos. Sports betting will eventually get to New York. The question is how many more years will it take.