Guide to Online Gambling in Georgia
Georgia is one of the stricter states in the U.S. as far as gambling laws go. Almost all forms of gambling are illegal.
This makes the subject of Georgia gambling sites a tricky one. It's rare for a gambler to be arrested or prosecuted for gambling online at an offshore casino, even in a state with laws as strict as Georgia's. Although it's not impossible, either. This page looks at some of the implications of Georgia's gambling laws, how they apply to Georgia gambling sites and more.
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Online Gambling and Georgia Law
Is online gambling legal in Georgia?
All casino games are illegal in Georgia.
Online casino games are covered by those laws.
Can I get arrested for gambling online in Georgia?
Maybe, but it's unlikely. No one has ever been arrested for playing casino games online in any state, including Georgia. Enforcement activities focus on businesses catering to players. Start an online casino, and you're playing with fire. Play a hand of blackjack at an offshore casino, and you're probably okay.
We're not encouraging you to break the law where you live, though. You should make educated decisions, and it's in everyone's interest to think about and discuss risk levels.
Playing a casino game online is low-risk. Offering games on a site targeting players in Georgia is high-risk.
Are daily fantasy sports legal in Georgia?
Daily fantasy sports are illegal in Georgia.
In 2017, a bill to legalize daily fantasy sports was approved by the house, but the chamber didn't vote on it. They didn't think they would secure enough votes for it to be sent to the Senate. Instead of risking it failing, they decided to postpone it until 2018.
The bill can be brought up for a vote again in January of 2018. The backers of the bill are confident that it could be pushed through to the Senate in January.
Is Georgia going to legalize online gaming?
It's hard to tell if Georgia will legalize online gaming anytime soon. Georgia has strict laws regarding all things gambling. Although they don't have any laws that specifically cover online gambling, they do have a law about the communication of gambling information.
According to section 16-12-28 of the Georgia Code:
"A person who knowinglycommunicates informationas to bets, betting odds, or changes in betting odds or who knowingly installs or maintains equipment for the transmission or receipt of such information with the intent to further gambling commits the offense of communicating gambling information.
(b) A person who commits theoffense of communicating gambling information, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years or by a fine not to exceed $5,000.00, or both."
Unless they change the above law, along with several others, Georgia gambling sites are a thing of the future, as they're not even close to being legal.
How do I choose a safe and quality offshore gaming site?
We're aware that some of our readers are going to gamble online regardless of the laws in Georgia. In their interest, we offer the following advice about choosing such offshore sites:
To find a safe and quality online gaming site, research the sites that you're interested in. Research the following topics as part of your due diligence:
- Licensing Jurisdiction - Research the licensing jurisdiction where the gambling site is located. Some sites may have similar games and variety, but they might charge very different fees. By examining licensing jurisdictions, you can pick the site with the best regulations and lowest fees.
- How Long They've Been In Business - Looking into this gives you insight on the loyalty of their customers. Sites that have been in business for a lengthy amount of time have a steady stream of returning customer and more reviews for you to read and consider.
- Game Variety - You probably already know which games you want to play. Making sure that the casino you're interested in offers those games is a no-brainer. It would be silly to sign up for an account at a casino offering nothing but slot machine games if you're only interested in playing blackjack.
- Tournaments - Tournaments can be an exciting part of gaming. Check the tournament section on each site to see how regularly they hold tournaments, the stakes and qualifications for each tournament and other information.
- Bonus Terms & Conditions - One thing that could make you choose one site over another is a sign-up bonus. On the surface, it seems like you sign up and you're instantly awarded the bonus. But that's not how it works. Read the fine print of the bonus to learn the specifics of it, like how much you must wager before you get the bonus added to your account.
- Read Reviews - Read the reviews for each site you're considering in order to learn about the current or past members experiences. This gives you a better idea of what you should expect from the website.
- Customer Complaints - Doing a simple internet search of the sites name and the word "complaint" can provide results of complaints that members of the site have had and how they were resolved.
- Deposit Options - When joining an offshore gaming site, make sure they support a deposit option that you're comfortable or familiar with. Look at the cashier's page on the sites to find the deposit information.
- Contact Customer Service - Contacting customer service gives you an idea about their level of professionalism and how fast they handle matters. When you contact them, it can be by email or live chat. Ask any question you'd like, even if it's about their customer service hours.
- Consider how you felt about your experience with customer service and if you would feel satisfied with their treatment if you have a real question or concern.
- Restricted States - Check the site's restricted states list to see if they cater to customers from Georgia. Some offshore gambling sites have restrictions on who they can allow to play their games. You want to make sure you're able to be paid by them before you sign up for their site.
Many of the offshore casinos we recommend on our site are thrilled to take action from gamblers in Georgia.
Breaking down what exactly is or isn't legal in Georgia. Gambling Venues in Georgia
Where to gamble in the state of Georgia. The History of Gaming Laws in Georgia
A brief history of Georgia laws regarding gambling. The Furture of Gambling in Georgia
What does the future of gambling look like in Georgia?
More Gambling Laws in Georgia
Casino Games: Illegal
According to section 16-12-21 of the Georgia Code:
"A person commits the offense of gambling when he:
(1) Makes a bet upon the partial or final result of any game or contest or upon the performance of any participant in such game or contest;
(2) Makes a bet upon the result of any political nomination, appointment, or election or upon the degree of success of any nominee, appointee, or candidate; or
(3) Plays and bets for money or other thing of value at any game played with cards, dice, or balls.
(b) A person who commits theoffense of gamblingshall be guilty of a misdemeanor."
According to this, casino games are clearly illegal.
Convenience stores in Georgia offer "coin machines". These are as close as you'll get to slot machines in the state. These machines are only allowed to payout in store credit of some form. It's illegal for them to pay out in cash.
Here's what the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Investigative Division says about them:
"The CGU is tasked with enforcing Georgia's commercial gambling laws as they relate to the Coin Operated Amusement Machines (COAM) seen in convenience stores and other businesses around the state. The machines can be legally housed in these businesses as long as they are properly licensed through the Georgia Lottery. Based on Georgia law, customers who play the machines may ONLY redeem credits for in-store merchandise, fuel, or lottery tickets. Redeeming credits for cash payouts is NOT LEGAL in Georgia and violators will be prosecuted."
One popular option for Georgia residents is to take a casino cruise. Cruise ships depart from Georgia and head out on to international waters for the sole purpose of providing casino games and other gambling activities.
Sports and Race Betting: Illegal
Horse and dog racing is illegal in Georgia.
A group called the Georgia Horse Racing Coalition has come together to promote horse racing in Georgia. They're trying to get horse racing legalized.
Arkansas and Florida are the closest states to Georgia that offer dog or horse racing.
Georgia does have a state regulated lottery, though.
- Mega Millions
- Jumbo Bucks Lotto
- Fantasy 5
- Cash 3
- Cash 4
- Georgia Five
- All or Nothing
- 5 Card Cash
- Print n Play
According to the Georgia Lottery website:
"The GLC has experienced unprecedented sales and returns to education in its 23-year operation - with sales exceeding $59 billion. Since its inception, the GLC has transferred more than $18.4 billion to the State Treasury's Lottery for Education Account.
More than 1.7 million students have been able to attend colleges through Georgia's HOPE scholarship program; more than 1.4 million four-year-olds have attended Georgia's Prekindergarten Program; and all of Georgia's public schools have benefited from over $1.8 billion in capital outlay, computer and technology upgrades."
Bingo: Charitable and Recreational Games Only
According to section 16-12-50 of the Georgia Code:
"It is the intention of the General Assembly that, except for recreational bingo, only nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations which are properly licensed pursuant to this part shall be allowed to operate bingo games."
The Georgia Code defines recreational bingo as:
"a bingo session operated by any person or entity at no charge to participants in which the prizes for each bingo game during the bingo session shall be noncash prizes and the total of such prizes for each such game shall not exceed the amount established pursuant to regulations established by the director. No such noncash prize awarded in recreational bingo shall be exchanged or redeemed for money or for any other prize with a value in excess of the amount established pursuant to regulations established by the director."
Social Gambling: Illegal
Social gambling is illegal in Georgia. The only exception to this is recreational bingo (which we already covered).
Gambling Venues in Georgia
Georgia has no gambling venues, but they do have bingo halls. Listed below are a few of the many bingo halls found throughout Georgia.
1 - American Legion #512
815 Willie Pitts Jr Rd
Albany, Georgia 31706
Phone: (229) 436-0163
2 - Moose Lodge
320 Moose Club
Athens, Georgia 30503
Phone: (706) 208-0033
3 - Knights of Columbus
4299 Highway 17
Brunswick, Georgia 31521
Phone: (912) 267-1879
4 - American Legion #35
3361 N Lumpkin RD
Columbus, Georgia 31903
Phone: (706) 687-0788
5 - VFW
5362 Covington Highway
Decatur, Georgia 30086
Phone: (770) 987-1426
6 - American Legion #168
1121 Oglethorpe Hwy 84
Hinesville, Georgia 31310
Phone: (912) 876-0168
7 - Brookfield Country Club
100 Willow Run Road
Roswell, Georgia 30075
Phone: (770) 992-9230
History of Gambling in Georgia
Bingo for non-profit organizatons is legalized by a constitutional amendment. These bingo games are limited to prizes that are not to exceed $1,500 per day or $3,000 per week.
The first Georgia Lottery drawing takes place in June.
An attempt to build a casino to fund the community college program is voted in by the Senate, but the Governor doesn't sign the bill. He believes a larger majority of voters is needed before a casino can be built.
The Georgia Lottery is created with the profits used to fund education enhancements.
A legal loophole is found to allow video poker machines to be introduced throughout the state. This loophole is short lived and is closed in 2002.
You can search Georgia Government's official website for information regarding casinos, wagering and all other gambling matters.
The Georgia Lottery website has information about their company and their games.
The Future & Your Views
The future of gambling in Georgia looks bleak.
Georgia has a long history of prohibiting gambling activities. That doesn't seem likely to change. Nearly all forms of gambling are outlawed in Georgia, including casino games, sports and race betting, daily fantasy sports and any form of Georgia gambling sites.
We think the only big change coming to Georgia gambling law is the possible legalization of daily fantasy sports, which would happen in 2018.