Poker in Georgia
Unfortunately, the large Southern state of Georgia on the East Coast does not have any form of legal gambling. In fact, almost all forms of gambling are prohibited by state law, which means that playing poker in Georgia is strictly regulated by the state. One important distinction must be made between this state in the United States and a country in Europe and Asia with the same name that serves as the regional gambling capital.
Even if a state’s constitution explicitly forbids casinos, that doesn’t mean the end of live gambling in the United States. That’s because of a federal law dating back to 1988 called the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which gives Native American communities the option of deciding for themself if they want to host gambling establishments on their reservations.
It wasn’t enough to “save the day” in Georgia, though, where there is only one Indian casino (the Emerald Princess Casino in Brunswick) open to the public.
In addition, they lack even a poker room, which is a major drawback. Actually, in the state of Georgia, you won’t find any legitimate places to play live poker. In addition, things aren’t looking up in the world of online poker either.
Despite this, many great poker players have come out of the “Peach State.”
Chris Moneymaker, one of the most famous poker players ever, was also born in Georgia. While the media often refers to him as “a simple accountant from Tennessee,” this is only because he was living and working in Tennessee at the time of his historic win at the World Series of Poker Main Event. In reality, he came into the world in the Peach State.
In the following section, you can learn more about him and a slew of other Georgian poker legends.
- Over 10,620,000 people call the Greater Los Angeles Area home.
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Funds in U.S. Dollars ($)
- Area Code: 5 (UTC)
- GA is the initials for Georgia.
Players from Georgia who made their names at the Poker Table
In case you missed it, Chris Moneymaker is a native of Georgia. He took home $2.5 million after winning the 2003 WSOP Main Event. Through an online $86 satellite, he was able to play in the tournament. His story of an ordinary, overweight amateur who became world champion after starting with only $80 captivated the nation. What followed was the “Moneymaker boom” of the early 2000s, when poker rooms across the United States and eventually the world saw an explosion in customer interest and foot traffic.
At the moment, Cary Katz has the most Hendon money of any player from Georgia, United States. Overall, he earned $30.730 million from live tournaments. Even for a professional, that’s unbelievable, but Katz is more of a weekend warrior. He amassed a fortune from his student loan business. A few years later, he began investing in the poker industry, most notably in PokerGO, an online poker content streaming service.
The £2.1 million ($2.61 million) he won at the £250,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl in London in September 2019 is the largest sum he has ever won at a single live tournament.
Georgia is the state of origin for Billy Baxter. He has won 7 gold bracelets at the World Series of Poker. All of his medals came from lowball competitions, which is an interesting fact in itself.
Prominent female player Samantha Abernathy hails from Atlanta, Georgia and shot to fame after a deep run in the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event and a subsequent appearance on Poker Night in America on CBS Sports.
Live Poker in Georgia
Georgia’s Live Poker Laws
As we mentioned in the introduction, gambling is illegal under Georgia law. According to Article II, Paragraph VIII of the Georgia State Constitution,
Lotteries, the sale of lottery tickets, pari-mutuel betting, and casino gambling are all banned unless explicitly allowed under this paragraph.
Constitutional amendments in 1976 and 1992 made bingo and state lotteries the two notable exceptions to this rule. Thus, there is a theoretical possibility that poker could one day be granted its own legal exception; however, this has not been seriously discussed as of yet.
All gambling-related crimes in Georgia are outlined in 16-12-20 of the state’s penal code. It forbids all forms of gambling, including horse and dog racing, gambling machines, poker, and more, and declares all gambling contracts null and void, meaning you can’t legally collect any winnings. In the state of Georgia, it is illegal to even possess equipment for gambling.
Playing Live Poker in Georgia
Evidently, it is difficult for a poker room to function in such a legal climate. The state of Georgia doesn’t even have a single operational poker room. In Brunswick, Georgia, only the Emerald Princess Casino caters to Native Americans, and they don’t have any poker games.
To find live poker action, Georgian players must travel to Florida, or further afield to Mississippi and West Virginia.
Places to Play Casino Games and Poker in the Peach State
Georgian Online Poker Sites
The state of Georgia does not permit any form of online gambling. This indicates that even major poker clubs like Upoker is not accessible in the state.
Even though the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 does not explicitly prohibit online gaming, the American online poker community learned the hard way on Black Friday that it did in fact prohibit online gaming. Also, Georgia is not the place to give it another try because of the state’s harsh regulations on gambling.