The struggle to legalize gambling in the state of Georgia continues as lawmakers are still having trouble coming to some form of compromise as to what gaming options should be offered and how to go about it. Opponents just gained a strong ally over the weekend as the Georgia GOP state committee decided to pass a resolution that shows their opposition to horse racing, casinos and daily fantasy sports.

According to, the resolution includes concerns of how the GOP feels that gambling is connected to an increase in crime rates as well as divorce. The group warns that allowing such gambling could open the door for any Indian tribe to begin shopping around for property to be used to create casino gaming venues. According to the GOP, the state should not have a vested interest in predatory activities like gambling just to fill the state coffers, at the expense of broken families and ruined lives.

Proponents of casino gaming for the state have tried for many years to see the legalization of gambling to no avail. Advocates feel that additional gambling activities like casinos, horse racing and daily fantasy sports contests would help to provide more funds to the HOPE scholarship program. The program is currently funded by the lottery and provides monies for pre-K programming as well as paying for in-state college tuition for students of Georgia who are able to maintain a 3.0 grade point average.

However, the idea of such gaming has created an influx of opposition from conservatives as well as critics, with several groups coming together to show opposition particularly when legislation was proposed this year to create two destination resort casinos in the state.

For now, it seems the battle will continue as more opposition is being shown and no end in sight to the argument as to whether or not such gambling activities will be beneficial to the state or a problem.

One Response

  1. Steven Norton

    As an individual who has lived in Atlanta, Columbus and Lookout Mountain, while growing up; I was a witness to Georgia’s Illegal gambling past. On Lookout Mtn., the Fairyland Club, that my Father managed, had illegal slot machines. And at the Lookout Mtn. Hotel, a full fledged casino was operating. But of course, there were no taxes involved, bur maybe a gratuity to certain individuals in a position of authority.
    Today’s article says the GOP are concerned about casinos causing an increase in crime; but they fail to mention that any form of commerce, that attracts millions of new visitors, will also see an increase in crime, primarily the non violent kind. Is the GOP committee saying they would not want welcome a Disney Theme Park? Because, Orlando; with Disney World, Epcot, Marine World, Universal Studios and dozens more family attractions, has a higher violent and property crime rate; than Las Vegas, the capital of casino gaming. It has to do with the number of visitors, who aren’t included in the computation of FBI Crime Statistics; that include crimes committed by and against visitors; but only compare the total crimes to the area’s permanent population.
    And with 90,000 hotel rooms in Atlanta, most of the casino revenue, of a downtown destination casino, would be convention and trade show visitors, midweek; and tourists on weekends, much like the Strip casinos in Las Vegas. And in the process, the average number of visitors to a city wide event, will grow, and many new shows will visit on a regular basis; because of casino gaming, and the attendant entertainment. Hotel occupancies and average room rates, and the taxes they produce, will also increase.
    Today’s article also has a reference that Indian Tribes could shop for various locations in the State and set up their own casinos. But, under the 1988 Federal Legislation, IGRA (Indian Gaming Regulatory Act), only Tribes that have been Federally recognized since 1934, and have a recognized reservation, can open a class 3 casino; and only is states that have approved casino games, for commercial or charity purposes. And if such a Tribe existed in Georgia, it would most likely be away from the States major population; like North Carolina, where the Cherokee Tribe had reservations in the mountainous Western part of the state.
    By judiciously locating casinos in a few locations, Georgia could produce most of its casino play from residents of other states, like we did in Indiana, placing casinos on rivers and lakes, near population densities in Chicago, Louisville, Lexington, Cincinnati and Columbus; where Indiana created 16,000 direct jobs, $billions in casino taxes, and millions of new visitors to Indiana, each year.
    Before closing the door on the casino gaming or racing industries, it seems it might be better for the Georgia Legislature to talk with individuals, like myself, that have debated the pros and cons of various styles of gaming, before many legislative bodies. Some. like Massachusetts and West Virginia waited years before passing an acceptable bill, but others, like New Jersey, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri and Indiana, acted while I was still involved in the Legislative, Referendum and/or operating phase.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts