The Spia Survey Research Center conducted a survey in the Peach State to determine the extent to which online sports betting and casino gambling could potentially be supported if put on the ballot.
The poll results are mixed, but they showed significant support for legal sports betting in Georgia, with more GA members throwing their weight behind casino gambling.
Between September 25 and October 4 this year, over 1,000 prospective Georgian voters were surveyed, asking a range of political questions about the approval of current office holders and where their vote might fall on a range of issues if cast on a ballot will.
Legal online sports betting in Georgia
The poll asked, “Are you in favor or against making online betting on professional sporting events legal?”
There have been some legal sports betting states in the US that don’t allow betting on local collegiate teams, but none have left out all collegiate sports.
The question assumes an unfavorable attitude toward college game betting and adds further confusion on an issue that voters are already struggling to fully understand.
45.6% of respondents supported betting on pro sports in GA, while 42.6% opposed it. 11.8% answered “don’t know”.
When surveyed among men, supporters of sports betting in Georgia were almost twice as high as those among women respondents. 58.2% of men were positive about online sports betting, while women scored 35.4%.
Residents of Georgia between the ages of 18 and 44 supported sports betting at rates well over 50%, suggesting that familiarity breeds respect and that more education is needed.
Who will offer this training? Outside sportsbooks have been known to flood upcoming sportsbook markets with advertising, but these can also have the reverse effect of turning off the voting public due to saturation, which appears to be the case in California.
In recent years, Georgia’s professional sports franchises have banded together in their push to legalize sports betting in the state, but they have yet to move the needle in Atlanta.
The General Assembly 2023 will not be convened until April 8th. For sports betting in Georgia, a constitutional amendment would need to be voted on by a 2/3 majority in each of the state’s congressional bodies.
Georgia state elections won’t happen until 2024, so even if an initiative comes to a vote, it could be 2025 or later before bets are placed at a domestic sportsbook.
Casino gambling in Georgia
Casino gambling poll results across the state have consistently been well above 50%, suggesting that there is a good chance domestic venues will get a permit if put to the vote.
State-regulated casinos would also require constitutional amendment, provided operations would not fall under Georgia Lottery governance.
Many of the gambling options offered at casinos are games of chance such as slots, craps, bingo and roulette. Sports betting is a game of skill in which players risk money against the expectations of bookmakers.
It seems that more Georgians prefer winning money through stupid luck than making an informed bet. Proponents of sports betting and gambling in GA face an uphill battle and need to provide educational ads to turn the tide.
Georgia Recorder poll results