Will voters 'hit' or 'hold' on allowing legal gambling in Georgia?

Will voters 'hit' or 'hold' on allowing legal gambling in Georgia? Will voters 'hit' or 'hold' on allowing legal gambling in Georgia?

March 10, 20222 min read
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Could we see horse racing and other forms of gambling come to Georgia in the near future?


The Georgia state legislature is looking at the possibility of legalizing gambling on horse racing and the decision could land in the hands of the voters.



Proponents say there is potential for a billion dollars in economic benefits, from job creation to a boost in revenues.


Marsha Loda is an associate professor at Augusta University’s Hull College of Business. She said if approved, it will likely take more than horse racing for a track to survive. Loda cites Kentucky as an example of what tracks are doing there.



“A lot of people think of Kentucky as the mecca of horse racing, but they don’t realize it might not exist without historical horse racing machines," said Loda. "HHRs are slot-like machines that let players wager on past horse races by a random number generator.”


Many tracks nationwide have also expanded into casino and sports betting. While this isn’t what Georgia is looking to do initially, it’s not far off to think it could be on the horizon, with horse racing being the first step.


Loda, who previously served as marketing director at Harrah’s Cherokee Resort in North Carolina, knows if casino gambling is approved in the future, most of those people who visit need to come from out of town.


“You need to be able to import your people who are going to bet. That means you’re importing revenue. Otherwise you’re taking what’s already spent in your community and just slicing it up and giving it to different places. You’re not growing the pie at all,” said Loda.


She has also seen the benefits of legalized betting, citing the added jobs a casino would offer.



One aspect of gambling that has exploded is sports betting. More than two dozen states have legalized sports betting. Loda thinks if sports betting was on a ballot and went in front of the public for a vote, it would stand a better chance of passing.


“I wouldn’t be surprised to see Georgia pass sports betting. I think sports betting has been very well accepted. I think they would come much closer to getting more voters to approve it if it were sports betting than if it’s horse racing or casino gambling.”


This is an important topic with many angles to cover, and if you are a reporter looking to know more, then let our experts help.


Loda is a leading marketing expert helping businesses in the hospitality industry bounce back from crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and also has had extensive experience in the gambling industry. She is available to speak with media regarding the idea of gambling coming to Georgia. Simply click on her icon now to arrange an interview today.


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  • Marsha Loda
    Marsha Loda Associate Professor in the James M. Hull College of Business

    A leading marketing expert helping businesses in the hospitality industry bounce back from crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

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