IS AUGUSTA NATIONAL PREPARING FOR LEGALIZED SPORTS GAMBLING IN GEORGIA?

Through this new tunnel, behind these new trees, the Augusta National is building a new television and digital compound with enhanced digital offerings. The Masters Golf Tournament digital platform will include images of every player making every shot at every hole, all within minutes of real time beginning this year. 
“The reasons we’re doing it is because we have always subscribed to the notion that we want to provide content to our fans in the way they want to receive it,” Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley says. 
Undoubtedly, this new feature will attract more engagement in a sport where it is impossible to see all of the golfer’s playing at once. The new state-of-the-art television and digital compound is potentially the most important digital facility in the sports gambling world.
Though still illegal in many states, it is no secret that golfers love to gamble, and gamblers around the world love gambling on the Masters Golf Tournament. Many of these bets occur in the form of “proposition” or “prop” bets, bets made regarding the occurrence or non-occurance of an event not affecting the game’s final outcome. 
During the Masters, sports bookies currently take bets on everything from the overall winner to whom the winner hugs first after sinking his putt on the 18th hole. The new digital compound will arguably supply grist for the mill of prop bets to be made in real time, creating thousands of more wagering opportunities.  
The state of Georgia is moving closer and closer to legalizing sports betting.  One can only imagine the impact of all the new data flowing to viewers from the National during the tournament. 
Right now, camps for and against sports betting are vocalizing their stance to try to sway public opinion. A recent public opinion survey by the Atlanta Journal Constitution shows 64% of voters surveyed expressed their opinion in favor of allowing casino gambling in the state, and 57% of the votes supported legalization of sports betting on professional sports events. 
The legalization supporters believe that any expansion of the gambling industry will repurpose once illegal funds into legal do-gooding. The extra  money will create thousands of jobs and pump funds into programs like the Georgia Lottery-funded Hope scholarship program. 
States around the country have approved a variety of rules to accompany the legalization of gambling, setting the stage for what we can imagine happening in Georgia. States such as Delaware, Arkansas, and Mississippi, for instance, only allow bets placed in casinos in person, while some states, such as Rhode Island, Indiana, and Iowa allow you to register online and place your bets on the Internet.

In West Virginia both in-person and online sports wagering are permitted under the law. In New Mexico, bets are permitted on games involving the University of New Mexico or New Mexico State University. Iowa permits betting on college sports, but certain kinds of in-game prop bets involving college games are banned. In Indiana, wagering on both college and pro sports is permitted, but betting on esports and high school sports is banned. New Hampshire allows both retail and mobile sports betting, but excludes New Hampshire’s in-state colleges.

In 2020, Georgia is debating whether to legalize casinos, horse racing, and sports betting. Given the fact the Augusta National has an enormous amount of pull in the statehouse, perhaps they may step in to give the Richmond County citizens a financial gift that would keep on giving in perpetuity? Such as legal wagers on the Masters Golf Tournament can only be made in Richmond County? 
In the advent of the new changes on the grounds at the Augusta National and the digital world at-large, it is fun to consider this possibility.  Imagine one of our beautiful mills on the canal housing the only sports book devoted to the Masters Golf Tournament.

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