After much consideration and a few changes, a casino bill proposed by Senator Brandon Beach of Georgia will be subject to a committee vote next week. Today, Senator Beach stated that Senate Bill 79 will be voted on this coming Thursday for the very first time in committee. The Senator also introduced a proposed amendment today that would legalize casinos within the constitution.
According to AJC.com, Senator Beach introduced Senate Resolution 249 today which is a proposed amendment to the state constitution to allow for casino gambling. The latest version of Senate Bill 79 has been finalized and will now await the committee vote next week.
The newest version of the Senate Bill would allow the state to provide licensing for as many as two destination resort-style casinos with one located in Cobb, Clayton, DeKalb, Fulton or Gwinnett counties. One would be allowed outside of that region but must be located within a 30-mile range of a major convention center in the state.
The bill will enforce a 20% tax on casino proceeds and send 30% of that amount to the HOPE scholarship program. An additional 30% will go towards needs-based scholarships for college. 15% will be set aside for healthcare programs for rural communities with an additional 15% used to provide trauma care for rural areas. According to Beach, the final 10% is still being negotiated.
On Thursday, the bill will be voted upon in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee. If the bill is able to earn approval, then Beach has said he would have the 29 votes needed for the measure to pass the full Senate.