With baseball season underway, Atlanta Braves President Derek Schiller is expressing disappointment that sports betting won’t be legalized this year in the Peach State.
This year’s Georgia legislative session ended early Tuesday, just after midnight.
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Lawmakers left the Gold Dome in Atlanta without taking action to approve legislation that could have legalized sports betting, pending a public vote.
“I’m incredibly disappointed it didn’t happen again,” said Schiller, the team’s president and CEO.
Pro Teams Back Sports Betting
Though the Braves and Atlanta’s other professional teams support sports betting, that support has not been enough win legislative approval.
Nationwide, pro sports teams in other states also have backed legislation to legalize sports betting, saying it helps the teams engage with fans and generates revenue.
A sports betting bill under consideration in Missouri enjoys support from pro teams in Kansas City and St. Louis.
Nationwide, sports betting is legal and live in 30 states and Washington, D.C., according to the American Gaming Association, giving players access too NBA, NFL, NHL and MLS betting among other sports.
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Braves CEO Wants Wagering ‘Out Of The Shadows’
Sports betting supporters note that Georgians already are wagering on athletic events, either by using illegal apps or traveling to states like neighboring Tennessee, where it is legal.
According to WABE radio, the Braves’ president noted that Georgia loses tax revenue under these scenarios.
“It’s time that we take it out of the shadows, we regulate it and that Georgia benefits from it in the form of tax dollars,” Schiller said.
Schiller said he hopes sports betting is approved in the future.
“We’re firmly in support of it,” he said. “It’s time we got it done.”
Some Groups Oppose Sports Betting
During the past few years, efforts to approve sports betting in Georgia have faced resistance from anti-gambling factions.
These groups contend gambling create social problems, such as crime, and can lead to compulsive betting harmful to families.
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This resistance is not unique to Georgia.
In Kentucky, which faces a sports betting vote next week, Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, told Gambling.com that conservative and religious residents in the Bluegrass State resist efforts to legalize sports betting.
In states like Kentucky and Georgia, the concern among some lawmakers is that gaming votes could hurt them on Election Day.
In Georgia, the primary election, pitting candidates from the same party against each other, is scheduled to take place next month, only weeks after the end of the legislative session. The winners advance to the general election in November.
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Braves Open At Home Against Cincinnati
During the same week that legislators ended their 40-day session in Atlanta, the defending World Series champion Braves open regular session play. The season is starting late this year because of a lockout.
On Thursday, the Braves begin a three-game homestand against the Cincinnati Reds at Truist Park.
On game day, the Braves were at -180 on the moneyline, according to Caesars Sportsbook.
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