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ADWS: The Future of Legalized Gambling

Updated: Apr 5

Originally appeared in the Atlanta Digital World Summit Newsletter

Interview by:  Edward H. Heyburn

If you thought Esports was a bunch of Gen-Zs playing Madden Football and FIFA 2024 online, you would be wrong. Esports, short for electronic sports, refers to organized, competitive video gaming. These games range from CALL OF DUTY to Pokémon.

I sat down with  Anthony Gaud of G3 Esports to discuss his career in digital entertainment. While we could talk about his Emmys, his time at Disney or his role in the first ever animated television show, we need to discuss Esports now. Gaud immediately dispelled the misconception about gamers. Surprisingly, the average male gamer is 35 and the female counterpart is 47.

I was concerned that soccer moms had abandoned their kids for CALL OF DUTY He assured me that the most popular game played by women is Candy Crush.

He says it forms a box in which Esports can build its platform. He found government regulations were motivated by a commitment to protect the public from the dangers of allowing people to gamble on Esports.

So, Gaud is working with New Jersey regulators to provide a platform restricted to adults, complies with the state’s child support and alimony judgment lien laws, complies with Anti-Money Laundering laws, and protects people who have a gambling problem. As industry leaders like Anthony Gaud and G3 Esports show us that legal gambling on Esports can be a safe bet, Georgia has a multi-billion-dollar decision to make for 2025.

Georgia has some of the most restrictive laws on gambling in the country. These laws prohibit online sports betting through companies like FanDuel, Draftkings and Caesars.

The Georgia Senate is looking to change the law and open a revenue stream estimated to be in the billions. Initially, the Senate proposed S.B. 172, which requires an amendment to the Georgia constitution and a new “Georgia Sports Betting Commission” to oversee wagering activities.

A subsequent bill, SB 386, introduced on January 24, 2024, proposes a different path, and avoids the need for a referendum to amend the Georgia Constitution.

The legislation states, “Sports betting shall be overseen and regulated, and may also be offered, by the Georgia Lottery Corporation in a manner that provides continuing entertainment to the public, maximizes revenues, protects consumers, and ensures that sports betting is operated in this state with integrity and dignity and free of political influence.”

Georgia’s attempt at legalizing sports betting comes at a time when there is a push to allow wagering on eSports. New Jersey, with the help of Atlanta Digital World Summit’s Committee Host, Anthony Gaud is establishing regulations to pave the way for legalizing betting on Esports.

In 2024, the projected revenue in the Esports betting market is estimated to reach $2.5 billion with an expected annual growth rate of 7.27%.

In 2028 The projected market volume for SPORTS betting is $3.3 billion.

On January 30, 2024, the Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee passed the bill 8-2. If passed the Georgia Lottery Corp. would award 16 licenses to sports betting operators. Five licenses would go to Atlanta’s pro sports teams: the Braves, Falcons, Hawks, Dream, and Atlanta United. The Augusta National Golf Club, the Professional Golf Association (PGA), and the Atlanta Motor Speedway would receive one license each.

The seven remaining licenses would be given to sports betting operators through an application process overseen by lottery officials. The lottery corporation also would receive one license. The committee increased the amount of tax to go toward Georgia’s HOPE Scholarships and pre-kindergarten programs from 15% to 20%.

Currently, Georgia Sports bettors are bypassing the state’s laws by using offshore betting companies like Bovda, MyBookie, BetOnline and Offshore betting denies Georgia of tax revenue it would receive if sports betting were legalized.

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