With a recorded population of 5.8 million people in its capital city of Atlanta in 2016, Georgia is one of the most populous states within the US. Nicknamed the Peach State for its once lucrative and leading role in peach production, and, later, Empire State of the South for its sheer size and impressive (and continued) economic growth, Georgia welcomes scores of tourists annually, who come to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Georgia Aquarium, Stone Mountain and Savannah Historic District. One thing tourists won’t see, however, is a single land-based casino. That’s right, folks – Georgia is not what you would call a gambling-friendly place. If you were hoping for a little betting action on the side while visiting this otherwise spectacular state, you may want to consider including an offshore casino cruise in your itinerary, as this is one of the only ways you’ll be able to gamble. And before you start an in-browser search for an online casino, you should know that these are strictly forbidden too.
Your best bet for casino action in Georgia? Free fun online slots at fun play casinos or free play online casinos – or even mobile casinos, Facebook casinos or social casino apps, provided no monetary rewards are coming your way. At this point, you’re probably wondering whether any betting activities are legal in Georgia at all, lotteries included – and we’re happy to say that there is indeed somewhat of a silver lining, albeit small.
Legal Gambling Activities in Georgia
Other than a no-profit card game at home with friends, the only gambling activities allowed in Georgia are those offered by the Georgia Lottery Corporation (GLC). After doing a bit of research, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that the GLC doesn’t only offer lottery games, but a bunch of other fun products to residents of the state. These include:
- Draw Games (for example, KENO!, All or Nothing, Georgie Five and Mega Millions)
- DIGGI Games (instant online games like Lucky Falls, Silver Stars, Spooky Loot and Wheel of Fortune – basically the closest you’ll get to online slots, just without the reels)
- Scratchers (virtual scratch card games like $500 LOADED, QUICK CA$H and MONEY MACHINE)
- Second Chance Games (as the name suggests, another chance to win on a game like Willy Wonka Billion Dollar Challenge or Mighty Jumbo Bucks)
So why are lottery games and games similar to online slots allowed by the GLC exclusively? Firstly, this gives Georgia the opportunity and capability to control revenues, ensure a largely gamble-free society and accurately prosecute citizens or businesses who choose to ignore the laws set in place.
We certainly commend what the GLC has achieved since their inception in 1992, especially thanks to the Lottery for Education Act, which is an ongoing campaign that sees all revenues generated being pumped into the schooling system. To date, 24 years down the line, they’ve managed to fund scholarships, grants, loans and various other school-related upgrades and projects in excess of $19 billion. When you take into consideration how well gambling regulation benefits education in Georgia, you almost start to feel guilty about your frustration for not having a say in what you do for fun. But is gambling really that terrible? Shouldn’t we be allowed to do whatever we like with our own hard-earned cash?
That’s a difficult question to answer, because, as with anything, there are pros and cons when it comes to gambling. And perhaps it’s a topic best left for discussion at another point in time. For now, let’s make sure we cover illegal gambling activities too, just to ensure you never land in any hot water should you be planning a visit to Georgia any time soon.
Illegal Gambling Activities in Georgia
As you may have gathered by now, the list of illegal gambling activities in this state is much longer than its legal ones. Let’s take a quick look at what you’re not allowed to place bets on in Georgia:
- Live Casino Games (or any other form of Casino Games, for that matter)
- Online Casino Games (no slots, pokers, table games or any other form of online game, other than those featured on the GLC’s website)
- Live Poker Games (you might get away with a poker game at a bar, but only when there is no monetary prize to be won – you’ll mostly be playing for a title only)
- Online Poker Games (refer to the Online Casino Games section)
- Sporting Events (this includes any dog or horse racing bets, whether pari-mutuel or not, as well as any sports games within the state)
Georgia is going to be a tough nut to crack when it comes to gambling, with many speculators arguing that residents shouldn’t hold their breath when it comes to the legalisation of live casino games, online games, live or online poker games or sports betting. Judging by current legislation, we have to agree. Apart from booking a casino cruise, the only other option for Georgians looking for some betting entertainment is to cross state lines in search of neighbouring casinos. Of course, there’s always the option of trying out those free fun online slots we mentioned earlier, which you’ll most likely find at fun play casinos or free play online casinos, or giving mobile casinos, Facebook casinos or social casino apps a try. If you are playing just for the fun of it, then you won’t get into any trouble – and you’ll still have tons of entertainment to look forward to, thanks to top-notch developers who are dedicated to creating engaging and rewarding games in the online and mobile space. If fun play casinos simply don’t float your boat, and you’re a resident of Georgia, then you’re not completely in the dark, as the GLC has quite a number of games with which to keep you entertained too.