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Georgia State Lotteries Laws

Gambling is generally legal under federal law (subject to various restrictions), although each of the individual states has the option to restrict or even forbid various types of gambling. The most common forms of gambling throughout the United States, include: Las Vegas casino-type gambling, charitable gambling, horse-racing, and the state lottery.

In Georgia, only three forms of gambling are legal: bingo, raffles, and the state lottery. The state lottery allows individuals to purchase tickets and choose numeric codes (or play "scratch-off" games) in the hopes of winning cash prizes. The money generated from the lottery is typically used for funding schools or other state services. Georgia state lottery laws earmark nearly half of the revenue for prize money, while 35 percent of lottery profits go straight to the Lottery for Education Account, with 10 percent used as a scholarship shortfall reserve account.

The main provisions of Georgia state lottery laws are listed in the following chart.

Code Section

50-27-1, et seq.

Distribution of Lottery Revenue

45% prize money; 35% of net proceeds to go to Lottery for Education Account (with 10% as a scholarship shortfall reserve account)

Additional Purpose of Lottery

To support improvements and enhancements for educational purposes and programs; funds used as supplement, not substitute

Lottery Prize Subject to Garnishment

On prizes over $5,000, set-off for all debts over $100 owed to any state agency including taxes, child support, and judgments or liens

Time Limit to Claim Prize/Disposition

180 days/up to $200,000 to Department of Human Resources to treat compulsive gambling disorders with the rest added to a pool for future prizes or special prize promotions

Prohibited Related Activities

Sale only at set price by authorized retailer; sale to minors; stolen, forged, or counterfeited tickets

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Georgia gaming attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

More Information

For more information on state lottery laws, in general, you may find FindLaw’s Details on State Lottery Laws article to be a helpful resource. You can also check out the links listed below for additional resources with information relating to Georgia’s laws on gaming and the state lottery. Finally, if you have more specific questions or concerns, consider contacting a local gaming law attorney.

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Georgia State Lotteries Laws: Related Resources

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