Sports betting bill back in committee for unclear reasons

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ATLANTA – Georgia Lottery Mobile Sports Wagering Integrity Act (HB 86) was sent back to committee without explanation for the second time today. The move sets back the legalization of online sports betting just a few days ahead of Atlanta hosting the NBA All-Star game.

HB 86 includes a provision for professional sports teams to benefit from game bets. Of course, gambling Georgians wouldn’t be able to benefit from the bill unless it passed the House, Senate, and was signed into law by the Governor by this weekend. It’s an unlikely scenario for those hoping to place bets on the All-Star game.

With the bill being sent back to Economic Development and Tourism Committee for unknown reasons, it’s anyone’s guess when or if the vote will take place this session or not. Georgia’s legislature hits “Sine Die” or crossover day on March 8. It’s the final day for bills to pass their chambers and be sent across the Gold Dome.

FYN has reached out to Economic Development and Tourism Committee Chairman Ron Stephens (R – Savannah) for more information about the move.

After being postponed several times this session, the Georgia Lottery Mobile Sports Wagering Integrity Act came up again for a vote today. HB 86 would amend Chapter 27 of Title 50 of Official code Georgia Code Annotated, relating to lottery for education, “to provide for the lottery game of sports wagering in this state” and “oversight of such lottery game by the Georgia Lottery Corporation.” It also amends Chapter 8 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to sales and use taxes, “to exempt wagers placed as part of the lottery game of sports wagering; to provide for violations and penalties; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.”

First withdrawn on February 10, 2021, the Economic Development and Tourism by Rules Committee favorably reported the bill again on February 23. The following Representatives are sponsoring the bill: Ron Stephens (R – Savannah), Calvin Smyre (D – Columbus), Billy Mitchell (D – Stone Mountain), Lee Hawkins (R – Gainesville), Shelly Hutchinson (D – Snellville), and Matt Dollar (R – Marietta).

The NBA All-Star game takes place in State Farm Arena on Sunday, March 7 with the weekend filled with related events. The AJC reported that Lebron James’ More Than A Vote organization is teaming up with the NBA, the NBA Players Association, and NAACP Georgia to call attention to the election integrity bills going through the General Assembly. HB 531 passed on Monday and moved to the Senate.

Feature image courtesy of Alan Kotok from Flickr.

Gov. Kemp and Lawmakers Ignoring Proven $100 million Annual Revenue Source

Opinion, Politics
Public Health Emergency

System working in Oklahoma since 2010 involves no sports betting

Written and submitted by D.A. King


Georgia voters should be asking why Governor Kemp and all concerned under the Gold Dome are ignoring a proven successful process to create a new revenue stream estimated to add about $100 million to Georgia coffers annually. 

It’s a refundable fee on money wired out of the state that has been working in Oklahoma for more than a decade and will not cost state tax-filers a penny. 

Many of us would be keen on hearing about this from the assorted state lawmakers pushing to start the casino gambling stone down the hill by legalizing sports betting as source of revenue. With the current ongoing pandemic budget woes, $100 million in new, yearly revenue seems like real money.

Well-written legislation was introduced in previous years that would mimic a working system in Oklahoma that has added to that state’s budget since 2010. The Gold Dome legislation is still readily available. This idea may require citizen pressure to receive the focus it warrants because the “business first” special interest lobby in Atlanta has worked hard to keep the proven system out of public sight or official consideration. The measure has never seen a hearing.

Oklahoma has shown us a way to tap into the enormous amount of money that is sent out of Georgia every year that now goes nowhere near the Georgia economy or state coffers – and the best news is that the majority of that money comes from drug dealers and illegal aliens!

What is it? A small, 100% refundable fee on funds wired out of Georgia that tax-filers easily recoup on their state tax returns. In simple terms, it goes like this: Let’s say you wire $1000.00 to Aunt Tilly in New York to help with her rent – or you send part of your under-the-table cash wages from your landscaping job to family in Oaxaca. When the payment is sent out, the wire service would add on a small extra fee  (around 2%) – which you would get back when you file your tax return or a simple, short form explaining that you are not required to file a return. 

The wire transfer agency would be compensated by the state for the collection effort.

The fee would be added to all the money the criminal black market – including illegal drug dealers and “undocumented workers” wire home literally every day.

The government of Mexico alone received about $25 billion American dollars in 2019, mostly from its citizens living here in the good old USA. That is more money than Mexico made on oil revenues. “Against initial estimates and despite the COVID-19 crisis, we estimate that remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean will reach US$ 70.4 billion (+6.0%) and in Mexico to US$ 39.5 billion (+8.4%) in 2020” according to economists who study the topic.

According to the Oklahoma Tax Commission for the year 2019, Oklahoma realized more than $19 million from the refundable wire transfer fee system, largely provided by black market labor. According to the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, Georgia has more illegal aliens than Arizona – and many more than Oklahoma. We don’t have figures on how many American dollars are sent out of Georgia by drug dealers, but Atlanta is a known terminus for that insidious organized crime.

The income for the state in this genius plan comes from the fact that the huge majority of criminals in the underground economy do not file a tax return. 

Everyone who files a state tax return or special short form can get the fee back. Fake news from the Atlanta Journal Constitution on a previous attempt to see passage of this available revenue stream bill requires me to repeat: The fully refundable wire transfer withholding would apply to everyone who wires money out of Georgia, regardless of its final destination.

The AJC falsely reported that the fully refundable wire transfer fee concept is a “tax” and apply only to foreigners sending money to their home countries. And they didn’t seem to like the idea that it would affect illegal aliens. 

We hope the Governor Kemp and concerned, responsible legislators will take a hard look at the proven $100 million a year revenue program for themselves – maybe even give it a hearing. 

Georgia voters should do more than merely hope. Governor Kemp’s office is 404-656-1776.

A recognized authority on illegal immigration and Georgia’s General Assembly, D.A. King is president of the Georgia-based Dustin Inman Society. He is not a member of any political party. @DAKDIS


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