Are There Gambling Casinos In Atlanta Georgia

The state of gambling in Georgia is a sad, sad thing. At present, there is exactly one avenue for residents to take – the Emerald Princess Casino, a cruise out of Brunswick with 220 slot machines.

  1. Are There Casino In Atlanta Ga
  2. Are There Gambling Casinos In Atlanta Georgia
  3. Are There Any Gambling Casinos In Atlanta Georgia
  4. Are There Any Gambling Casinos In Atlanta Georgia

Until 2015, there was also the Tradewinds casino cruise out of Savannah, but after the state revoked the boat’s inspection certificates, the operation disappeared for good. Even its website is for sale.

Savannah can be discovered in the state of Georgia (United States). It is big town, containing a populace 146000 residents. Savannah does not possess a casino but there is no need to worry. Luckily, Brunswick Emerald Princess Casino and Victory Casino Cruises Jacksonville are nearby.There is no casino in Savannah and that is unlucky! These days most online casinos are quite sophisticated and there’s no longer a need for casino bonus codes. In the past, many online casinos required Are There Gambling Casinos In Atlanta Georgia the player to enter a bonus code in order to Are There Gambling Casinos In Atlanta Georgia receive a deposit bonus.

The simple truth is that Georgia has some of the strictest and most absolute laws against gambling in the United States. Obviously, these laws extend to casinos, poker, and sports betting in Georgia. There’s even a prohibition on horse racing and dog racing – which is something of a rarity, even in prohibitive states. Of course, like most states with strict anti-gambling laws, Georgia offers its residents a state lottery option. This just never makes any sense because gambling is gambling.

However, hope remains in the Peach State. The 2017 state legislative session saw the introduction of a bill to bring two casinos to Georgia – one in Atlanta and one in Savannah, Columbus, or Augusta. The bill went nowhere and died in February.


The bill, proposed by Sen. Brandon Beach and Rep. Ron Stephens, is such a delicate issue that the word “casino” isn’t even in the bill. Instead, the proposal calls for the establishment of two “destination resorts.” One resort (the Atlanta location) would require a $2 billion investment. The other resort would only cost a mere $450 million.

So, it’s possible Georgians will have some gambling options within their state in the near future. For right now, Georgians are also aided by the state’s proximity to Florida and Mississippi, which can offer casinos in decent driving distance. Below is the information for Emerald Princess and the four closest casinos to Georgia’s state lines.

Latest Updates

Last updated: June 23, 2020

The Senate Special Judiciary Committee recently added sports betting language onto a traffic ticketing bill (HB 903) that passed the House in March. Lawmakers are hopefully sports betting can bring back revenue lost during the coronavirus pandemic. The measure now moves to the Senate floor for further discussion.

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Social casino site options

Social casino sites are likely the best option for Georgians to pursue their desire to gamble in peace. At present, the big apps – Zynga, Slotomania, Big Fish, and Double Down Casino – are all available via Facebook and the various app stores.

According to the most recent available data, Double Down Casino is the most-used site that featured slot machine play to its patrons. A whopping 6.1 million users a month visited Double Down two years ago, and those numbers have likely gone up since. Double Down offers over 60 different games to site visitors, all for free. For fans of table games, Double Down also has video poker, blackjack, roulette, bingo, and poker available.

Georgians can also make use of MyVegas, MGM’s free comps site. Though they will have to travel to redeem any of their loyalty points, it is still an attractive option. Ultimately, Georgians maintain the same options as everyone else. The shame of it is that these options are, as of right now, the best it gets in Georgia for gambling. (At least until the legislature makes a move.)

Land-based slots options

PropertyLocationNumber of Slots
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino ResortCherokee, NC3,280
Harrah’s Cherokee Valley Casino ResortMurphy, NC1,000
Emerald Princess Casino (cruise)Brunswick, GA220
Wind Creek WetumpkaWetumpka, ALunknown
Big M Casino (cruise)Little River, SCunknown

Online gambling options

As can be expected in a state with stringent land-based gambling laws, Georgia does not have legal online gambling.

However, due to the relative recency of online gambling’s arrival on the scene, there is no specific law banning it either. So, Georgia residents can find options in out-of-state (and probably out-of-country) sites. However, they shouldn’t expect open arms and welcome within the power structure of the state.

Operator profile

Emerald Princess Casino

Emerald Princess Casino is a five-night-per-week casino cruise that docks at Brunswick, Georgia.

It is the only option for gambling within state lines in Georgia. The boat itself is a 200-foot vessel with four decks. There are two for gaming, one for dining, and an observation deck. Each night, the boat sails into international waters to allow patrons to gamble beyond the reach of Georgia state law.

Within the two gambling decks, the cruise offers 200 slot machines, 12 blackjack tables, eight poker tables, two roulette wheels, and a craps table. Players pay a $10 entry fee, and cruises last for five-hour segments. The minimum age for entry is 18, and patrons must show a photo ID to enter. The cruise is operated by Golden Isles Cruise Lines, whose sole holding is this cruise. Reviews for the cruise are fair to good.

And that’s it, really. The truly best options for gamblers in Georgia are either the two Harrah’s Cherokee casinos in North Carolina (for northern Georgia) or Florida’s casinos in the Panhandle or Jacksonville (for southern Georgia).

Georgians in the western part of the state can also drive to tribal casinos in Alabama. The best bet for Georgia gamblers right now is to lobby their state representatives and senators to pass the bill before the legislature.The bill would put a casino in Atlanta (likely near Hartsfield International Airport) and another one in one of the other cities.

State legal environment

Permitted/Offered?Notes & Restrictions
Land-based GamblingNoBill in state legislature would permit two casinos
Online GamblingNo
LotteryYesState lottery and Powerball multi-state lottery available
Charitable or House-based GamblingYesOnly charitable raffles are permitted – no bingo or pull tabs
Minimum Gambling Age18 for lottery and the one casino cruise

Are There Casino In Atlanta Ga

  • Bingo (1976), Lottery (1992), Video Lottery (2013)
  • $918 million
  • $1 Billion
  • 18 for lottery and bingo, no minimum age for video lottery
  • Georgia only bans smoking in restaurants that permit minors. Some local jurisdictions ban smoking in video lottery establishments.
  • Lottery tickets, including instant games, are sold over the Internet.

Georgia was one of the last states to legalize any form of gambling outside of charities. It happened in 1992 when voters approved a constitutional amendment that created the Georgia Lottery. The only other form of Georgia gambling allowed before that was nonprofits offering games like bingo and raffles.

The Georgia Lottery turned into one of the largest gambling businesses in the country almost overnight. It later expanded into online sales of tickets, including instant games. Gray area slot machines were turned into a video lottery in 2013.

Despite the fact that there are no Georgia casinos, there are other options players can use. Georgia casino gamblers can go to either of the two Cherokee casinos in the North Carolina Appalachian Mountains or drive to Mississippi or Florida. Another option is to take a cruise ship from an Atlantic Ocean port, where casino games can be played once the ship hits international waters. Use our Georgia casinos map of services to find a business that offers cruise ship casinos and gambling rentals.

Paying Gambling Taxes in Georgia

Did you know that you have to report your gambling winnings? OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos has gathered everything you need to know about paying gambling taxes straight from a Certified Public Accountant. For more information please visit our exclusive Gambling Taxes article.

Georgia Casinos Map of Businesses

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Types of Online Georgia Gambling Allowed

The only form of legal Georgia online gambling is the lottery. The website sells tickets to lotto drawings that include Mega Millions, Powerball and Fantasy 5. It also sells tickets for real money keno drawings that are held every three and a half minutes. There are also instant games that mimic slot machines. These tickets start at $.50 and run up to $2.

Daily fantasy sports sites claim exemption under Georgia’s skill gaming law. The Georgia Lottery launched an inquiry into this assertion by sending letters to major sites that operate in the state. State Attorney General Sam Olens is also investigating daily fantasy sports. Meanwhile, sites like DraftKings, Fanduel, Yahoo! And CBS Sports continue to operate in the state.

Types of Live Georgia Gambling

There are two forms of legalized live Georgia gambling . The oldest is charitable bingo. This is low limit action with small prize pools.

The other form of live gambling in Georgia is video lottery. This involves slot machines that require some level of skill. The technical term for these games is redemption machines. The most common games involve the machine showing three reels and the player using skill to determine which reel to move to place in the final spot for the best payout.

Some operators use machines that do not conform to skill being an element. There is still debate about how the Georgia Lottery will act in regards to enforcement of devices that do not fall completely within the rules.

There are no Georgia casinos within state borders, but players can certainly find alternatives. There are several different ways Georgia casino gamblers can play the games:

  • Travel to nearby states, like Florida and Mississippi, and play at their casinos.
  • Go on a cruise ship casino and play on international waters.
  • Rent or hire Georgia casino services. The games are not played with real money, but the thrill is still there.

Georgia Gambling Laws

Georgia gambling laws make most betting and gambling illegal. Residents may not possess slots or video poker machines. Home poker games are legal but only if a rake is not taken from the pot or an entry fee demanded. Poker tournaments that offer prizes may not have a buy-in.

Bingo is only permitted for charities that register with the state. All revenue must be declared. Bingo may not have prize pools higher than $1,500 in a day or $3,000 in a week.

The Georgia Lottery was created to fund education. Taxes generated by the lottery must be used for the HOPE Scholarship. This funds college tuition for qualifying students. It also pays for pre-k classes.

  • The devices must be connected to the lottery’s headquarters.
  • The machines are charged an annual amusement licensing fee.
  • The games must be slots that require some level of skill that affects the outcome.
  • Players may not win cash.
  • The only prizes may be store merchandise, gift cards or lottery tickets.
  • Alcohol and tobacco may not be purchased with video lottery winnings.
  • Violation of video lottery laws is a gross misdemeanor in most cases.

The Georgia Lottery began taxing the machines at 5 percent of net revenue in 2013. That number goes up one percent annually until it reaches 10 percent.

The Georgia Lottery is given the authority to regulate all forms of commercial gambling in the state. It may create new gambling segments without the authority of the state legislature. The Georgia Lottery has the power to open video lottery casinos, however, it has chosen not to do so. Management at the state lottery has refused to move into casino gaming without specific direction from lawmakers.


Where to Gamble in Georgia

There are no Georgia casinos that operate in-state. There is currently only one cruise ship that take Georgia casino gamblers into the ocean. The only ship remaining is the Emerald Princess II out of Brunswick. The Tradewinds Casino that docked in Savannah has been permanently closed. This ship offers all kinds of casino games including, slots, video poker, and table games. Players in the Atlanta area travel to Harrah’s Cherokee or Harrah’s Murphy in North Carolina or go to Mississippi for casino action.

This is the best alternative players have currently, unless legislation is passed soon where Georgia casinos can become a reality.

Video lottery is available throughout the state in convenience stores and bars. These are slot machines that require the player to perform one skillful act to complete the spin.

Are There Gambling Casinos In Atlanta Georgia

History of Georgia Gambling

Georgia has long been a conservative state that frowned upon gambling. It took until 1976 for charities to be able to offer bingo and raffles. The rules to this day only permit prize pools of up to $1,500 per night and $3,000 per week. The proceeds must go to a registered charity.

State Lottery Created

Georgia residents approved a constitutional amendment to create a state lottery in November 1992. The first scratch-off ticket was sold on June 29, 1993. There were 52 million lottery tickets sold the first week. The sales goal of $463 million was hit in the first five months. It was the most successful lottery launch in history at the time.

The Georgia Lottery started a weekly lotto game the same year. It also joined multi-state drawings like Powerball and Mega Millions. Keno drawings were also added. This game is typically found in bars. New numbers are drawn every three and a half minutes.

Video poker made an unwanted entry into Georgia in the late 1990’s. The games snuck through the back door of a statute meant to permit redemption games at arcades. Video poker parlors opened throughout the state and peaked around 2000 after South Carolina banned video poker. Most machines were Pot O’ Gold machines that featured Shamrock 7’s, an incredibly popular video poker game in the South.

Video poker establishments were not permitted to pay cash. Gift cards and merchandise were the only items that were legal to pay winners. Many video poker halls got around this by opening identical establishments next door to each other in the same shopping center. A winner would receive a gift card from one business and walk next door and sell it for cash. Some video poker halls simply paid cash.

The games were not regulated for fairness. The only tax revenue generated came from machine licensing fees.

Governor Roy Barnes called a special session of the Georgia Assembly in 2001 to address the state flag. A video poker ban also came out of this legislative meeting. Video poker companies managed to defeat the law in the lower court but the Georgia Supreme Court threw out the earlier ruling. Video poker died in Georgia in June 2002.

Are There Any Gambling Casinos In Atlanta Georgia

The video poker ban outlawed machines that used cards or anything similar, as well as keno games. Slot machines that required any degree of skill were not banned. This was the next version of video gambling in Georgia.

Payout Rules

The same payout rules applied to these slots as video poker. Players could still not receive cash for winnings, nor could they buy alcohol or tobacco products. The state challenged the legality of the games and the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that slots that require skill were legal under state law. Lawmakers were left with two options. They could outlaw games that involved some chance at Chuck E Cheese and Dave N Busters or they could just accept that the slot machines were there to stay.

In 2013, the state legislature decided to accept the existence of slot machines in gas stations and bars by legalizing video lottery. A tax of five percent was levied on the games starting July 1, 2013. The tax rate goes up one percent each year until it caps at 10 percent. All legal games must be connected to a regulatory system monitored by the Georgia Lottery. There have been enforcement issues involved with video lottery. State and local police, as well as lottery officials, continue to battle underground video gambling.

The Georgia Lottery launched online games in 2014. Players can purchase tickets for lotto and keno drawings over the Internet. There are also instant games that closely resemble slot machines.

Are There Any Gambling Casinos In Atlanta Georgia

Casino companies have been scouting Atlanta as the next potential gaming market. Boyd Gaming, Las Vegas Sands and MGM Resorts are among the interested companies. The 2016 Georgia Assembly is expected to take up the discussion about Georgia casinos and gambling expansion.

Georgia Casinos & Gambling FAQ

Are there casinos in Georgia?

No. The only Georgia casinos are cruise ships, with the only one remaining docking in Brunswick. They must go into international waters before they can legally offer casino games.

Harrah’s Murphy is the closest casino to Atlanta. Harrah’s Cherokee is only slightly farther away.

The Georgia Lottery regulates slot machines that require some skill.

Many gas stations and bars offer video lottery games.

Can you buy Georgia Lottery tickets over the Internet?

Yes. This includes lotto drawings, keno and instant games.


Home games and bar tournaments with no buy-ins are legal. Commercial card rooms are unlawful in Georgia.

The minimum Georgia gambling age is 18 for lottery and bingo. There is no minimum gambling age for video lottery.