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Georgia Poker Legislation

Georgia PokerPoker, along with other forms of gambling, has a rich history in Georgia. This very conservative state has continually made a stand against gambling in general. Georgia does have a state lottery, but most moves to legalize gambling in Georgia are quickly halted before they ever even make the ballot.

The measures that do end up on the ballot in Georgia either don’t pass at all or they end up in long battles between the house and senate. Georgia is a southern state with many deep rooted families that are totally against any form of gambling. A lot of the younger generation in Georgia would like to have some forms of gambling legalized, but the reality of that happening is probably going to be years in the future.

Can Players From Georgia Play Poker Online?

Yes! Surprising Georgia has yet to make a move to block gambling sites. People in Georgia can currently play at all US facing poker sites. This may change in the future, but as for now online poker sites are gladly accepted Georgia players.

Is it Legal to Play Online Poker in Georgia?

Georgia has yet to make a stand on the legality of online poker. Georgia does have some strict laws that could be interpreted as meaning that online poker is illegal, but nowhere in the laws do the explicitly address online poker. Many people think that Georgia will take a legal stance against online poker soon, but at the time of writing this article Georgia has not made a legal move.

Georgia is one of the few states that criminalize social poker games and Casino Nights fundraisers. See some quick facts regarding Georgia gambling below:

  • Social poker games are illegal in Georgia and punished as a misdemeanor crime
  • Casino Night fundraisers are illegal in Georgia
  • Video machines are allowed as long as no cash prizes are awarded
  • No individual has ever been criminalized for playing online poker in Georgia to date.

Georgia is very conservative when it comes to gambling. They have a measly 3 legalized gambling options which include bingo, raffles, and state lottery. Any other gambling in Georgia is considered to be illegal.

The bingo industry in Georgia is strictly regulated. Those organizations caught selling pull tabs and having video machines are shut down immediately as these things are considered illegal in Georgia. Over 50 organizations have lost their bingo licenses since 1981 in Georgia for including illegal gambling along with bingo games. [1]

Georgia Gambling History

Gambling in Georgia dates back to the early 1800s when gambling was common in almost all states. Gambling was illegal in the state of Georgia, but most people ignored the laws. The law enforcement was not enforcing the laws. It is rumored that they were accepting pay offs to look the other way.

The illegal gambling continued for over a century. In 1922, Georgia did legalize a state lottery. This was the only form of legalized gambling in the state, but plenty of other gambling was going on. This all changed by the 1930s. A very influential newspaper writer, Thomas Lee Bailey frequently wrote about the illegal gambling in the state. He called for much stricter regulations on gambling. The government had no choice but to take notice because the entire state was now getting involved in the illegal gambling problems throughout the state.

The Georgia government clamped down on gambling. They passed some of the strictest gambling laws in the nation during this time. This was a time when most states were lightening up on their gambling laws in hopes to bring in extra revenue during the depression.

Georgia has been a very strict state when it comes to gambling ever since this time. Avid gamblers have had some very small victories in Georgia, but for the most part Georgia is a very strict anti-gaming state.

One of the small victories that the residents of Georgia had was the legalization of video machines. The machines are in convenience stores around the state. Players pay money to play these machines, and they accumulate points. The points are used to buy merchandise at the store. Georgia recently had legislation that almost completely shut these machines down. As for now, the machines are still spread out across Georgia, but law enforcement has been cracking down on store owners that aren’t abiding by the rules.

Legalized Gambling Options in Georgia

The people of Georgia have very few options when it comes to legal gambling. They can play the state lottery or bingo. Raffle tickets are also legal. Some stores have video machines that patrons can play and purchase prizes with the points they have accumulated. These machines were almost shut down completely recently when it was brought to light that many establishments were paying the patrons cash for their winnings. As for now, stores are still allowed to have these machines, but there have been many active busts shutting stores down that award cash prizes.

The Future of Online Gambling in Georgia

The possibility of Georgia legalizing any type of online gambling in the near future is very slim. Georgia continues to be one of the most conservative states when it comes to gambling in general. It is unlikely that a state that considers social poker games illegal will legalize online poker games. Stranger things have happened though. We will just have to wait and see what Georgia decided to do.

References:

  1. Jump up ^ Georgia Bingo
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