Gambling In Georgia
Of all the states that have legalized gambling, Georgia is not one of them. Even standard land based casinos are not permitted by state law. Native American casinos and private casinos are not permitted either. This leaves residents of Georgia confined to gambling on a cruise ship or on the Internet. When people gamble on a cruise ship from Georgia they have to pay to get into the casino and can only gamble according to a set schedule that dictates when it is allowed. Otherwise, the only gambling that is legally permitted is the state run lottery and any Bingo game played for charity.
It may not be permitted by law, but gambling is nothing new to the state of Georgia. Gambling has taken place in Georgia as far back as the 1800s. Even back them some wanted to ban gambling, but it was such a significant part of society that it wasn’t able to be banned. During this time, it was not unheard of for officers of the law to accept bribe money to turn the other cheek when they spotted gambling activity. A newspaper editor named Thomas Lee Bailey was a gambling control advocate and even pressured the state to create laws in which gamblers would be prosecuted. This set Georgia up to become the anti-gambling state it has been ever since.
In the year 2000, South Carolina declared it illegal for its residents to play video poker. As a result, video poker machines were relocated to Georgia. The hosts of each video poker machine brought into the state circumnavigated the laws to pay out real money to video poker winners. This continued until 2002 when the government caught wind of it and outlawed all video poker machines.
There are no plans to legalize online gambling in Georgia, leaving residents of the state who do want to gamble to do so with a foreign casino.
Every few years there are those who fight to legalize gambling in Georgia. Atlanta’s City Council backed a 2009 proposal for video slot machines designed to dispense scratch off lottery tickets. The proposal was shot down and the next one wasn’t made until 2012. Casino gambling was to be put on the ballot in the state’s next election. The almost equal division of registered voters that opposed it and those who didn’t caused the Governor of Georgia to drop the idea all together. Even bills proposed to allow Georgia residents to gamble on horses were stopped by state legislators.
Between the times these two proposals were considered the state closed local Internet Cafes in 2011 because café patrons were using the Internet to gamble on Poker games. Since then Georgia has continued to remain adamant about not allowing any gambling, online or offline.
Georgia officials don’t seem to be concerned with the amount of revenue online and land based gambling could potentially bring them. Legislators have consistently stopped any attempts at legalizing gambling in any way that they possibly can.