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Poll: Should Georgia (and ITP Atlanta) welcome billion-dollar casinos, gambling?

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A Georgia lawmaker wants to bring three massive, Vegas-style hotel complexes to the Peach State

a photo of a casino floor
“Today could be the day, Georgia.”
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

What God-fearing Georgian doesn’t want to shoot dice and play cards to earn some extra scratch? Right?

Legally, of course.

Well, as it turns out, quite a few state leaders detest the idea of legalizing casino gambling in the Peach State. Nevertheless, the matter has made its way to Georgia’s statehouse in just about every legislative session in recent memory.

Next year will be no different, although the, uh, stakes could be higher than they’ve been in the past.

Republican state Rep. Ron Stephens, whom Bisnow called “the political father of Georgia’s generous tax credits for TV and movie production,” plans to pitch legislation during the next General Assembly that could end up licensing three multi-billion-dollar casino resorts for in-state operations.

Under Stephens’s proposal, each company hankering for one of the few permits in Georgia would have to commit to creating at least 10,000 jobs, as well as invest a bare minimum of $1.2 billion on the endeavor, Bisnow reported.

Add that up, and Georgia could be cashing in 30,000 new jobs and upwards of $3.6 billion in new development, should his legislation earn approval, Stephens maintains.

Stephens has yet to identify specific sites for potential casino development, although one of the three would almost certainly land in metro Atlanta (probably ITP), according to Bisnow, which broke news of the statesman’s ambitions.

The interior of the proposed Underground Atlanta casino, circa 2009, that never was.
via ABC

The other two resorts, Stephens told the publication, would likely rise in or near Savannah and along the Georgia-Florida border.

Revenue from casino operations, Stephens and supporters argue, could be used to improve Georgia’s lottery-funded HOPE scholarship program.

Of course, in years past, Gov. Nathan Deal has been a thorn in the side of casino gambling advocates, adamantly opposing the measures. Plus, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the Republican party’s gubernatorial nominee this election year, has also denounced legislation that would regulate betting.

During the 2019-2020 legislative session, however, Stephens aims to pass a resolution that would send the casino gambling debate to Georgia voters via referendum.

University of Georgia political scientist Charles Bullock told Bisnow that, next year, pro-casino residents could be in luck, since resistance to the cause has been dampening in recent years.

Which brings us to voting of a different sort.

In the below poll, we ask how comfortable and/or eager ye Georgians (and anyone else reading this post) would be with the idea of massive destination resorts planting roots in metro Atlanta.

Poll

How do you feel about the prospect of legalized casino gambling in Georgia?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Keep the Craps out of my state. Period!
    (280 votes)
  • 3%
    I do worry about problem gamblers becoming, well, a problem.
    (72 votes)
  • 30%
    Let’s give it a whirl. All in!
    (578 votes)
  • 19%
    You know, this model might actually bring the cash needed to repair the HOPE scholarship program—at a time when student loans are crushing.
    (358 votes)
  • 4%
    It would beat Alabama, North Carolina, and wherever else bagging all of that revenue.
    (93 votes)
  • 5%
    Sounds like it could help parts of Georgia that could use a boost.
    (108 votes)
  • 13%
    Atlanta is on fire economically, and we don’t need this gimmicky casino stuff.
    (257 votes)
  • 7%
    Frankly, I don’t give a damn.
    (136 votes)
1882 votes total Vote Now