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Georgia Poker Laws: Everything You Need to Know

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If you’re interested in playing poker in Georgia, you need to know the laws governing gambling here. This blog post will provide an overview of Georgia’s gambling laws and information on where you can play poker legally in the state.

So whether you’re a resident of Georgia or just visiting, make sure to read this blog post before hitting up any card rooms!

Where to play online poker in Georgia

Looking to play poker in Georgia? Check out our list of the best Georgia poker sites!

BetOnline Poker

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Available Countries
Accepts US players
More Info
Available Games
  • Poker
  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Live Dealer
  • Baccarat
Payment Methods
Features
  • Great gaming library
  • Numerous tournaments
  • Hefty welcome bonus
  • Additional bonuses for crypto users

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Is Online Gambling Illegal In Georgia?

georgia state famous ferry's wheel | Georgia poker laws

Poker is a popular game all over the world, but did you know that it is illegal to play for money in Georgia? That’s right – according to the state’s laws, all forms of poker played for profit are considered gambling and are therefore against the law.

Many other states in the United States allow friends to play private card games without charging or taking a rake from the pot, as long as there is no additional fee or rake taken from the pot.

But in Georgia, the law is very clear – any place where poker is played for money is considered a “gambling place” and is therefore illegal. So if you’re planning on playing a friendly game of poker with your buddies, you might want to rethink that plan – unless you’re willing to risk breaking the law!

According to section 16-12-20 of the state’s penal code, a “gambling place” is defined as “any real estate used for the purposes of gambling.” That means that even a private game among friends is technically illegal.

Fortunately, the law is rarely enforced, and plenty of underground games can be found if you know where to look. So if you’re feeling lucky, you can probably find a game of poker somewhere in Georgia.

Georgia Poker and Gambling Laws

Georgia’s poker regulations are quite simple. While the prohibition on gambling in Georgia is odd because it only refers to specific sorts of gaming and does not include provisions for any other types of gambling that aren’t specified, poker is unquestionably covered under the law.

A misdemeanor violation is defined by Title 16, Chapter 12, Article 2 of the GEORGIA CODE, which prohibits gambling. There are three primary types of gaming that are not permitted.

The first prohibits bets on any game or contest; the second excludes political competitions, which are most likely included in the first section since these are bets on events, and the third restricts wagers on games played with cards, dice, or balls.

Georgia has some of the nation’s strictest gambling regulations. For example, Georgia Code Section 16-12-21(a)(3) makes it unlawful to gamble and play for money in any card game.

In February 2016, the Georgia House of Representatives passed legislation that would allow casino gambling in the state. The bill included a 20% state tax rate and designated four casinos as potential locations. However, after passing through the Senate, it was shelved indefinitely in early 2017.

Summary of Georgia Gambling Law

16-12-21 Gambling:

(a) A person commits the offense of gambling when he:

  1. Makes a bet upon the partial or final result of any game or contest or upon the performance of any participant in such game or contest;
  2. Makes a bet upon the result of any political nomination, appointment, or election or upon the degree of success of any nominee, appointee, or candidate; or
  3.  Plays and bets for money or other thing of value at any game played with cards, dice, or balls.

(b) A person who commits the offense of gambling shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.” (1)

So as far as poker is concerned, that would fall under provision (3), which makes illegal betting for money or anything of value at any game played with cards, and poker is indeed played with cards.

Georgia Gambling Laws References

(1) Georgia Code, 16-12-21

Short History of Gambling in Georgia

Gambling has a long and illustrious history in the state of Georgia. While today the state is home to a thriving casino and poker industry, it was not always so permissive when it came to gambling.

In fact, for much of its history, Georgia was quite conservative when it came to gambling, regularly cracking down on unlicensed operators. The first gambling in Georgia dates back to the 1800s when the state was home to a number of prolific Southern lotteries.

gambling and lottery in georgia

However, in 1878 Georgia passed a law banning the sale of lottery tickets, and it would be more than 100 years before a modern state lottery was established.

The first draw of the Georgia lottery took place in 1993. While lottery tickets are now available for purchase throughout the state, poker remains a strictly regulated form of gambling.

Poker rooms are only legal in certain casinos, and players must be 21 years of age or older to participate. Nevertheless, with its rich history and vibrant casino industry, Georgia remains a popular destination for gamblers from all over the country.

Georgia remained steadfast in its refusal to legalize horse and greyhound race betting via pooled or Pari-Mutuel machines, despite the fact that many neighboring States did so.

It would be three years before Georgia first authorized a limited carve-out for charity bingo and raffles – and it is still tightly regulated today.

The Future of Gambling in Georgia

Gambling laws in Georgia are currently quite restrictive, but there is a growing movement to loosen them. If successful, this could majorly impact the state’s economy.

Casinos and other gambling establishments would bring in much-needed revenue and could create thousands of new jobs. In addition, the increased tourism would benefit businesses across the state.

However, there are also some concerns about gambling addiction and other social problems. Nonetheless, the potential benefits seem to outweigh the risks, and it is likely that gambling will become more prevalent in Georgia in the years to come.

What does the future hold for gambling in Georgia, then? That’s difficult to predict. On the other hand, there is a strong desire for gambling in Georgia, which is unlikely to decrease.

On the other hand, there’s also a lot of competition from neighboring states, which could reduce Georgia’s market share. Only time will tell if it works out.

Final Thoughts

It’s no secret that things are tough for Georgia residents when it comes to gambling. With very few options available within the state borders, many people are forced to play bingo or leave the state to gamble.

There have been some tentative steps towards opening a state casino, but there is still much opposition. However, momentum does seem to be building for horse racing.

One thing is certain: Georgia’s residents are creative and resourceful. Despite the challenges, they will find a way to enjoy online games and stay ahead of the law.

Utah may be the last state to embrace online gambling, but Georgia is not far behind. Sooner or later, this state will catch up with the rest of the country and start offering its residents more gambling options. In the meantime, Georgians will continue to find ways to have fun and stay safe while gambling online.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Play Online Poker Legally in Georgia? Although poker is classified with other types of betting and casino gaming under state legislation, there is nothing that prohibits playing it online. Here at Pokerlaws, we provide a list of Georgia’s licensed gambling sites and comprehensive reviews.
Can I Make Real Cash Deposits In Georgia? Georgians are able to play non-American poker rooms on the internet for real money, just like residents of other US states that don’t have Internet gambling legislation. On the internet, Georgians can play at non-American poker sites for real money, but it may be difficult to get payments processed. Always test several deposit options in order to acquire currency into your account. Remember that Georgia citizens can compete with the best of them when it comes to online poker. Where there’s a will, there’s bound to be a way.
Are There Any Live Casinos in Georgia? If you’re looking for some live casino action in Georgia, you’re out of luck. The state doesn’t have any casinos within its borders. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some gambling fun. A number of cardrooms serve Georgia players, offering online poker and other games. And if you’re willing to travel, you can find casinos in neighboring states like Florida. So options are available to you if you’re looking for some casual fun or want to try your hand at a big game. Just be sure to check the Georgia poker laws before you start playing.

About the Author

Sadonna Price
Author Sadonna is a mom of two and an avid poker player who also enjoys online casino games. She has been part of the online gambling industry for over a decade, working as a news and blog writer. Sadonna still plays Texas hold’em in her free time while her daily job revolves around providing insights into the online gambling world using her creativity and writing skills.
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