Casino gambling in Georgia will again come under legislative consideration

Aug 4, 2018 8:34 AM

The long-shot possibility of casino gambling in Georgia will again come under legislative consideration with word that Republican State Rep. Ron Stephens, plans to attempt to introduce legislation during the next General Assembly that might allow voters to decide if they want three multi-billion-dollar casino resorts in the Peach State.

Local media report, Stephens’s is beginning to float a plan in which each casino company seeking to open shop in Georgia would have to commit to creating at least 10,000 jobs, as well as invest a bare minimum of $1.2 billion.

Stephens has yet to identify specific sites for potential casino development, although one of the three would almost certainly land in metro Atlanta, according to Bisnow, which first reported the Stephens plan.

Casino gambling remains a controversial issue in the state because some see it as a threat to the Georgia’s lottery-funded HOPE scholarship program.

Gov. Nathan Deal has repeatedly opposed expanded gambling and Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the Republican party’s gubernatorial nominee this election year, has also opposed gambling expansion.

Stephens, during the 2019-2020 legislative session, seeks to pass a resolution that would allow Georgia voters to decide the issue.

University of Georgia political scientist Charles Bullock, according to Bisnow, believes that, gambling expansion resistance has been dampening in recent years.