Georgia House panel approves bill allowing sports betting

Georgia News

Georgia House Economic Development and Tourism Committee Chairman Ron Stephens, left, a Savannah Republican, talks to Democratic state Reps. Calvin Smyre, center, of Columbus and Al Williams, of Midway, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in Atlanta, after the committee approved a bill to legalize sports betting in Georgia. Stephens says taxing sports betting could provide more than $40 million a year for college scholarships and preschool subsidies (AP Photo/Jeff Amy)

ATLANTA (AP) — A bill that would legalize sports betting in Georgia and give tax revenue to the state lottery is in advancing in the state House.

The House Economic Development and Tourism Committee voted 20-6 Tuesday to approve House Bill 86, sending it to the full House for more debate.

The measure moved forward despite continuing questions about whether state constitutional amendment is needed to legalize betting. After the companies pay out winnings, the state would tax remaining proceeds at a 14% rate.

Republican Rep. Ron Stephens of Savannah says the measure could raise more than $40 million a year for the Georgia Lottery Corp. to pay toward college scholarships and public preschool programs.

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