Georgia Casino Guide
Facts About Gambling & Online Casinos in Georgia
As a general rule, Georgia has not been an overly friendly state when it comes to legalizing brick or mortar or online casino gambling. There are no casinos within the state, but there is hope on the horizon.
History of Gambling in Georgia
Centuries ago, back in the times of post-Revolutionary War, Georgia did hold small lotteries on a local level to help fund county schools. It wasn’t too long after that, the 1830s, when states like Georgia and the Carolinas passed laws banning gambling completely. Not too much has changed since then.
Currently, bingo, raffles, and lotteries are the only legal forms of gambling in Georgia. The state lottery didn’t become legal until 1992, which says a lot about how long it’s taken to bring about change. In 2013, a bill introduced by Senator Butch Miller passed allowing some convenience stores to have video poker machines. These machines are regulated by the Georgia Lottery Corporation and proceeds go to the HOPE Scholarship, a state-wide college scholarship available to resident students.
Age Restrictions for Gambling in Georgia
To play bingo, players must be 18 years or older. The age limit for online casinos and onboard casinos varies, but expect to be at least 18 years old, if not 21.
Georgia’s Casino Gambling Outlook
Changes to gambling laws in the past few years has led to another round of legislation that is currently being discussed. In 2015, the chairman for the Economic Development Committee brought forth a proposal that will allow for six casinos to be built within the state. It is expected that this bill will not reach the ballot until 2016, but the possibility of casinos in Georgia is being considered. If this happens, the money will also be used for the HOPE Scholarship and regulations will be put in place to ensure that developers of the casinos are ready to invest at least $1 billion for a casino in Atlanta and at least $200 million in other areas of Georgia.
The Emerald Princess
Short of playing in online casinos, Georgia residents have one other option. The Emerald Princess is a cruise ship that houses a casino. Within the casino are more than 200 slot machines, a dozen Blackjack tables, half a dozen Texas Hold’Em tables, two Roulette wheels, two Stud Poker tables, and one Craps table. Guests who want to play on the Emerald Princess need to check the schedule to see when the ship is scheduled to sail. Players must be 18 years of age to play in the casino and 21 to drink alcohol.