Last Thursday Atlanta Mayor, Kasim Reed said that he would be willing to meet with the representatives that have pitched casino developments for the Turner Field area, but many local residents are not happy with the idea.
One resident expressed to local media that a casino would be right up there with a prison or a landfill going in.
MGM Resorts and three other major gaming companies have expressed interest in the site which will be vacated by the Atlanta Braves when they move to a new stadium in Cobb County at the end of 2016. Casino gambling remains illegal in Georgia, but a proposed constitutional amendment could change that barrier.
Reed said it would be “fiscal malpractice” not to meet with casino interests because of the vast amount of investment they could bring to the local economy. “The conversations that we had initially involved investments that you can’t turn down over a telephone,” Reed said.
Reed is opposed to gambling and at this point is more interested in a $300 million proposal by real estate firm, Carter in tandem with Georgia State University that would see the 80 acre site redeveloped with a balanced mix of student apartments, senior housing, home sites, shops, a grocery store, and college sports stadiums.
MGM confirmed recently that they would like to invest over $1 billion in a downtown Atlanta casino resort. It was reported on July 7th that five lobbyists had been hired to advance their cause.