Casino establishments are always on the lookout to be the first to set up operations in new markets as it immediately gives them leverage to capture market share and build a strong presence.
Legislators in Atlanta are considering makes changes to their constitution that will allow casino establishments to setup operations in Atlanta. Legislators are currently discussing the possibility of issuing up to six casino licenses that will allow four casinos to be constructed around Georgia and two specifically in Atlanta. Atlanta is considered a hotspot due to the presence of the Georgia World Congress Center and the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The state is looking to bring in more revenue to increase its budget in the coming years so that it can look at implementing a number of projects that would help in state development. State gaming officials believe that the casino market will be extremely lucrative for Georgia because there are no racetrack facilities and a complete lack of gambling options available.
The competition from neighbouring states will not be much of a concern because on one side is tribal casino industry in Florida which will not easily allow commercial casinos to set up operations and on the other side is South Carolina, an extremely conservative state which does not appear to have any plans to legalize gambling.
The Chairman and CEO of Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International, Jim Murren stated that if casinos were to be allowed to operate in Atlanta, MGM would be seriously interested in building a $1 billion mega-casino resort as he believes the market has enormous potential and MGM would be very interested in obtaining one of those six licenses.
The interest shown by MGM to build a $1 billion casino in Atlanta will be encouraging for city officials. Legislators will likely charge millions of dollars for each casino license upfront and then further impose a 12 percent gaming tax that will bring in a significant amount of revenue for the state.
In a statement, Jim Murren said “The infrastructure you have in Atlanta is unique to any place I’ve seen in the United States from a standpoint of developing a robust regional resort. There’s no public financing, there’s no public incentives; these are private enterprises and we think we would generate a tremendous amount of jobs, good-paying careers with no burden to the taxpayer.”
Murren did not specify which location MGM would target to build its $1 billion casino as Murren is aware that there could be possible competition from the likes of the Las Vegas Sands Corp and Wynn Resorts.