Gambling Laws for the state of Georgia do not permit legalized casino gambling. However, the law does allow offshore gambling by means of casino boats. There are currently two of these casino boats in operation in Georgia. Georgia’s overall position concerning gambling is luke warm at best.
While most forms are gambling are specifically prohibited by Georgia gambling law, the law does not deal with the issue of online poker or online casino gaming. To date, the state has not addressed the issue of online gambling. There is no law that specifically outlaws online gambling in Georgia, and Federal laws do not make online gambling illegal either. This page is designed to provide clear and concise information so that players can determine what gambling options are legal for players in the state of Georgia, including the Georgia online gambling opportunities that are available, such as Georgia online casinos, bingo halls and Georgia online sports betting sites.
Other Georgia Gambling Pages
History of Gambling In Georgia
In the 1800s and the early 1900s gambling was rampant in Georgia. There were laws to tackle gambling but they were seldom enforced mainly because gambling was well established in the framework of society. Subsequently however things changed and today the state has one of the most severe anti-gambling laws in the country.
Gambling Definitions According to Georgia Gambling Laws
The definition of gambling under Georgia gambling law is very broad. In fact it is a combination of the definitions of bet, gambling device and charge of gambling. The definition of gambling under Georgia gambling law includes betting on virtually every event or game that one can imagine. The definition of the offense of gambling includes betting anything of value on games played with balls, cards or dice. In fact any card game for money can run afoul of the law in Georgia. Since poker is a card game, poker games are illegal in Georgia. Engaging in an illegal gambling activity is a misdemeanor offense. Transmission of information on bets is prohibited by law.
Georgia Gambling Laws Concerning Home Poker Games
While most states make an exemption for home games of poker, there is no such exemption under Georgia gambling law. Any real estate that is used for the purpose of gambling is a gambling place. So even home poker games between close friends and relatives are illegal. The state does have a single casino. Because the law specifically states that all forms of gaming are illegal, there are no slot machines, card rooms or table games in the state of Georgia.
Georgia poker players can choose to access one of the several legally licensed and regulated Georgia online poker sites which are located outside of the United States within a territory that is regulated by a jurisdiction which has legalized online poker. You will find several of the legal and reputable options available throughout this guide.
Lottery Gambling Laws In Georgia
While the law makes all forms of gambling illegal, Georgia has a state lottery. In November 1992 the voters voted to pass the Education Act that created the Georgia Lottery Corporation. This body oversees and operates the state lottery in Georgia. The first lottery ticket was sold on June 29, 1993.
Gambling Laws Concerning Bingo and Raffles
Other than the state lottery, the only forms of legalized gambling in Georgia are bingo and raffles. Georgia gambling law makes a distinction between recreational and non-recreational bingo. Recreational bingo is legal in Georgia. A bingo game is considered as recreational bingo if:
- the participants do not pay any charges to participate and
- all prizes are non-cash prizes and the value of the prizes for each game is $15 or less.
Bingo sessions organized by tax exempt licensed organizations where all participants are senior citizens are also considered as recreational bingo. Bingo sessions where all participants are residents of senior centers, retirement homes, nursing homes or hospitals are also recreational bingo games.
Bingo games where the participants have to pay a fee or where the prizes are valued at more than $15 are considered as non-recreational bingo. Non-recreational bingo is illegal unless it is conducted by a non-profit tax exempt organization with a bingo license. A non-recreational bingo game organized by a licensed organization cannot pay more than $1500 in prizes per session or $3000 per week. Licensed organizations can also conduct raffles. Bingo players in Georgia do have the option of visiting legally licensed and regulated Georgia online bingo halls which are located outside of the United States within a governing jurisdiction which has legalized online gambling within its respective territories.
Georgia Casino Gambling Laws
While there are no land based casinos in the state, casinos ships are legal. In the late 1900s the state permitted two major cruise ships that traveled international waters to offer casino games. One of them docks in Savannah while the other docks in Brunswick. They can legally offer casino games once they are three miles from the coast. It is legal to play real money poker at such casino ships if they offer poker.
Online Gambling Laws in Georgia
In 2011, the state began to crack down on Internet cafes. Internet cafes typically provide a very unsafe gambling environment and are often associated with illegal gambling operations, though not always. The state has not passed any law legalizing pari-mutuel wagering. In fact the last bill to legalize horse racing never made it past the state legislature. It is one of the few states that do not permit pari-mutuel wagering. In 2012 the legislators made an attempt to legalize gambling in the state. The voters were asked to vote on a proposal to allow casinos in the state. The YES and NO votes were more or less equal and the governor decided that the proposal should not be pursued any further. Offshore online gambling is not prohibited by any of the state’s laws.
Georgia Online Gambling Laws Summary
There are no state or federal laws which prohibit residents or visitors of the state of Georgia from participating in legally licensed and regulated online gambling. At this time, such options are located outside of the United States, yet are subject to strict regulatory oversight by their governing jurisdiction. We have provided several of these options throughout this guide for your convenience. Each brand we feature has been vetted by our team of professionals and has been verified to hold the appropriate licensing and certifications to operate legitimately within the industry.
The UIGEA law of 2006 does not make it illegal for US players to participate in online gambling, but rather places regulatory oversight concerning how online gambling transactions can be processed. The law is directed at gambling site operators and payment processors, and not players.
Georgia Gambling Laws
Georgia players who would like to take a look at the official laws and statutes governing the gambling industry in their state can visit the official State of Georgia Website to access that information in its entirety.
Georgia Online Gambling Law FAQS
What are the consequences for gambling in Georgia?
Simple Gambling in Georgia is a misdemeanor offense. The punishment for most misdemeanors in the state of Georgia can be anywhere up to 12 months in jail, while many jails will only make you serve around half your sentence if your behavior is good. Fines can up to $1000 or as low as $300. Running a business that makes profit off of gambling services is a Commercial Gambling offense which is a felony and holds much harsher penalties.
Are there any Casinos in Georgia?
No, however there are 2 casino boats that routinely sail out into international waters to conduct casino games and activities so they can stay out of Georgia’s state jurisdiction. These two casino operations function legally out of Georgia but never operate any casino games until safely in international waters. They are the Emerald Princess II Casino, and the Tradewinds Casino Cruise Savanah.
Is social gambling legal in Georgia?
Georgia is one of the few states that will not even allow social gambling in private settings amongst friends. Poker games with colleagues and peers in your own home can stand to result in a misdemeanor offense. A felony charge can result if you stand to rake the pot and claim profits other that of your fair winnings of the game.
Is there any form of gambling that is legal in the state of Georgia?
The state law says that all forms of gambling are illegal within the state. However, charitable organizations have been allowed to use certain forms of gambling like bingo and raffles. There is even a limitation to that. As the state law indicates, there is a difference between recreational bingo and non-recreational bingo. As you might guess, non-recreational bingo is illegal while the other is not. In order to stay recreational, the players must not be forced to pay a fee to play bingo and all prizes must be worth $15 or less and can’t be cash or other monetary forms.
Non-recreational bingo can be conducted as long as it as done so by a non-profit which has acquired a bingo license. Even in those circumstance the prizes cannot pay out more than $1500 in prizes or $3000 per week. One other exception to the rule is the state-run lottery that as passed by voters in 1992.
What is Pari-Mutuel Gambling and is it legal in Georgia?
Pari-Mutuel gambling is a the most common form of gambling at horse and dog tracks. This is where all the participants bet against each other instead of the house and only pay a small fee from the pots per race. Typically, legal in even the more conservative states, Georgia has never passed any laws legalizing it and therefore has no horse or dog tracks in the state.
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