GA: Lawmakers work to pave way for legalized gambling

Mousey

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03/05/08
By Brandon Larrabee, Morris News Service

ATLANTA Despite what some might see as long odds in a conservative state, a group of Georgia lawmakers is bet-ting that voters are ready to legalize casinos and gambling on horse and dog racing.

House Resolution 1477 would amend the Georgia Constitu-tion to allow a city or county to legalize one or both forms of gambling as long as voters approved of the move in a referendum. House Bill 1369, meanwhile, lays out how the new games would be governed.

Casino gambling has been floated as a way to save Under-ground Atlanta, and the lawmakers sponsoring the meas-ures are from the metro Atlanta area. But any city or county would be allowed to hold a referendum on the gambling question.

Even sponsors admit they don't expect the legislation to pass this session. All bills and resolutions must pass either the House or Senate by Tuesday to remain alive, and the proposals haven't been heard by a committee.

But Rep. Roger Bruce, D-Atlanta, the measures' ......
 

pokeraddict

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Robb Pitts (ATL City Councilman) has been for 15 years or so to get a casino at Underground Atlanta. Underground is a disasterous city owned venture at Five Points that the city dumps cash into endlessly. They tried to save it before by allowing it to get an exemption from last call to create a party district but the neighborhood is so bad it just doesn't work.

Having lived in Georgia for 32 years I jut can't see legalized gambling having a chance. They have tried to get horse racing legalized many times and failed and in 2001 video poker was kicked out of the state in a landslide. The lottery was even a tough sale. There are too many extremely conservative people in middle and southern Georgia to think this would ever fly. The only possible way IMO is if it was restricted to only Underground as most of the state doesn't care what happens in Atlanta anyway.

Atlanta is in a major economic crisis and "Harrah's at Underground" or whatever would come might be the only chance to keep it from falling on its face. Corruption and a billion dollar sewer project has left the city broke and barely able to maintain status quo.

With legalized video poker and slots at tracks in Alabama, Cherokee NC's 4000+ machines, Florida's reservations and full blown gambling in Biloxi the state loses out on tons of revenue. Georgia has two casinos on boats that go into the Atlantic already so there is already some regulation in place for it.
 

RobWin

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Here's the excerpts from the previous article in The Atlanta Business Chronicle:


NEWS

January 28, 2008
Study Recommends Casinos in Atlanta

ATLANTA, GA The Atlanta Business Chronicle reported the findings of a recent study about legalizing casinos in Atlanta. The report by PKF Hospitality Research was requested by high level Atlanta business leaders who want to keep Atlanta competitive as a top tourist destination.

REPORT FINDINGS
Based on at least one Las Vegas-style casino built in downtown Atlanta:

Adds up to $1.7 billion to Atlantas economy
Creates 10,800 new jobs
Adds $136.3 million in annual tax revenues
Adds nearly $3 million in city hotel-motel taxes
May bring massive redevelopment of the central business district

The report cited other cities where gambling and conventions work together to attract more visitors:
- 1st-ranked Las Vegas has $6 billion in casino revenue
- 2nd-ranked Chicagoland, Ind., has $5 billion
- 16th-ranked New Orleans has $534 million

The social cost of problem gambling is also reported and could cost Atlanta $320 million a year. About 8% of Americans over 18 are susceptible to gambling dependency. If there is a casino within 50 miles, it is estimated this percentage doubles.

Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts has long been an advocate for local casinos. "Georgians love to gamble," he said. "Georgians go to the Carolinas, and Mississippi and Nevada in huge numbers. It's my prediction that within five years, we will have casino gambling here in the state of Georgia."
 

NASHVEGAS

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Robb Pitts (ATL City Councilman) has been for 15 years or so to get a casino at Underground Atlanta. Underground is a disasterous city owned venture at Five Points that the city dumps cash into endlessly. They tried to save it before by allowing it to get an exemption from last call to create a party district but the neighborhood is so bad it just doesn't work.

Having lived in Georgia for 32 years I jut can't see legalized gambling having a chance. They have tried to get horse racing legalized many times and failed and in 2001 video poker was kicked out of the state in a landslide. The lottery was even a tough sale. There are too many extremely conservative people in middle and southern Georgia to think this would ever fly. The only possible way IMO is if it was restricted to only Underground as most of the state doesn't care what happens in Atlanta anyway.

Atlanta is in a major economic crisis and "Harrah's at Underground" or whatever would come might be the only chance to keep it from falling on its face. Corruption and a billion dollar sewer project has left the city broke and barely able to maintain status quo.

With legalized video poker and slots at tracks in Alabama, Cherokee NC's 4000+ machines, Florida's reservations and full blown gambling in Biloxi the state loses out on tons of revenue. Georgia has two casinos on boats that go into the Atlantic already so there is already some regulation in place for it.
Ditto for TN. and they still raid the backrooms of local markets with axes to destroy video poker machines and culprits get more prison time than murderers.....Use to visit Atlanta 3 or 4 times a year mostly for Braves games and then even the Lenox/Buckhead area seem to slowly slide....Wonder if The Tavern in Phipps is still going strong-the best looking bar waitresses in the World in it's prime....I think Harrah's at Underground would be very similar to the Harrah's in New Orleans which I said I would never go back although they finally put a decent invite out to me just last week that includes the Jazz festival but with Tunny next week and LV in May, I passed without any regret!
 
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pokeraddict

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Buckhead had last call rolled back to 2:30 and it killed their business as Dekalb county still has 4am last call. The same thing happened in Sandy Springs. Longtime bars closed down losing business to Dekalb. CentraArchy still owns the Tavern at Phipps and the last few times I was in there (about 12-18 months ago) it was still going strong and the food was great. Fine dining like that wasn't affected by last call moving.
 

babs7262

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You mean Georgia doesnt have a race track? I thought all states had racetracks especially in the South! They have the most land for horses:)
 

pokeraddict

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You mean Georgia doesnt have a race track? I thought all states had racetracks especially in the South! They have the most land for horses:)

The only three forms of legalized gambling that I can think of are the lottery, charity bingo and there is a backdoor that allows slot machines that require skill as they fall under amusement laws like Dave and Busters. Even then you can only win gift certificates and can't use them to buy alcohol or tobacco. Of course lots of places pay cash under the table. That's how it was when video poker was legal there too, just prizes, not cash. The problem was it was abused beyond belief and the state shut it down.

As for tracks Alabama has dog tracks and off track betting at 4 tracks in the state which also have slots and video poker. IIRC Florida and Louisiana (if you consider them a part of the south) have horses and dogs too. TN, GA, SC, NC and VA don't have any racing and the only land casino in any of those states is in Cherokee, NC on a reservation that ws able to get licensed to pay cash on video poker because video poker was legal in the state. There are only slots and video poker. Even their table games have video screens on the table instead of cards. They even tried to get a poker room there but NC wouldn't let them because it isn't legal in the rest of the state and that was their gaming pact. I've never seen a bigger ripoff casino then Harrah's Cherokee. Mostly 5-10% hold video poker and slots. Why not as they have a huge monopoly. There are a few casino boats that go into the Atlantic in those states but no other B&M.

I just can't see Georgia having casino gambling when you can't even go to the store on a Sunday and buy a 6 pack of beer. If they are too conservative to repeal that dated blue law then I can't see casinos coming onto the scene. It's too bad too because it might be the only thing that keeps Atlanta from going bankrupt.
 

NASHVEGAS

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I guess you are aware of the GA.'s recent claim that TN./GA. state line was surveyed wrong approx. 150 years ago iirc and GA. now wants TN. land which actually is more about water rights/access to the TN. River as GA. aka ATLANTA and surrounding counties has major water problems (shortages)...kinda humorous,GA.'s claim that is!!
 

RobWin

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I guess you are aware of the GA.'s recent claim that TN./GA. state line was surveyed wrong approx. 150 years ago iirc and GA. now wants TN. land which actually is more about water rights/access to the TN. River as GA. aka ATLANTA and surrounding counties has major water problems (shortages)...kinda humorous,GA.'s claim that is!!

Nash, were coming after your land buddy...:lolup:
 

NASHVEGAS

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Nash, were coming after your land buddy...:lolup:
The content of several of the articles I have read almost made me think I was reading an article about the Middle East and I better head for the nearest bomb shelter, I kid you not:D
 

RobWin

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The content of several of the articles I have read almost made me think I was reading an article about the Middle East and I better head for the nearest bomb shelter, I kid you not:D

Yea I know what you mean man...I think it's hilarious that now after 150 years or so GA wants to try and lay claim to a small strip of TN land...:rolleyes:
 

pokeraddict

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Yea I know what you mean man...I think it's hilarious that now after 150 years or so GA wants to try and lay claim to a small strip of TN land...:rolleyes:

I'm sure the people in that strip can't wait to go from no state income tax to Georgia's atrocious tax system. I can't think even the dumbest politician would think it would work.
 

RobWin

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I'm sure the people in that strip can't wait to go from no state income tax to Georgia's atrocious tax system. I can't think even the dumbest politician would think it would work.

Yea, I kinda feel for those folks because if they decide they don't want to be part of GA and GA does in fact get the land (small chance in hell) then they will have to worry about GA seizing their property by imminent domain...
 

anniemac

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GA chances of getting legalized gambling is about as good as Texas getting slot machines. Now we have 3 horse racing tracks. All about to go bellyup because we are also surrounded by LA, NM, OK, and AR, all of which have race track and all of which have slot machines. Do you think that the Texas lawmakers would rather have Texas money stay in Texas? Oh no. They had rather is go over the state line so that they can say "Texas doesn't have legalized gambling". What a crock! Hypocritical bunch we are.
 

brianzz

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TN is on a sinking ship, GA is looking at gambling and so is AL this November, TN is really missing the boat on this one.

I've long said if they would place casino gambling correcly on the ballot it would pass. Higher tax or casinos (elective tax) one or the other.
 

pokeraddict

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TN is on a sinking ship, GA is looking at gambling and so is AL this November, TN is really missing the boat on this one.

I've long said if they would place casino gambling correcly on the ballot it would pass. Higher tax or casinos (elective tax) one or the other.

Considering TN was the 48th state to legalize even a shred of gambling I have a feeling it will be a long way down the road if ever.
 

NASHVEGAS

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Considering TN was the 48th state to legalize even a shred of gambling I have a feeling it will be a long way down the road if ever.
Sorry Brianzz, I agree with PA....if not for now Congressman,former State Legislator Steve Cohen of Memphis, I doubt TN would even have a lottery but I would take gambling any day before a State Income Tax which Sundquist and the old man came really close!
 

NASHVEGAS

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Buckhead had last call rolled back to 2:30 and it killed their business as Dekalb county still has 4am last call. The same thing happened in Sandy Springs. Longtime bars closed down losing business to Dekalb. CentraArchy still owns the Tavern at Phipps and the last few times I was in there (about 12-18 months ago) it was still going strong and the food was great. Fine dining like that wasn't affected by last call moving.
I usually grabbed an appetizer (very good) in the bar area but it was not the food I paid particular attention to. Better looking female employees in the bar area than Vegas!....Of course, now all I could do is look, J/K as that was all I could do back in the late 90's,early new century as they were very young beautiful ladies and easy on the eyes!....also like the restaurant/bar across the street iirc called Blue Point or similiar.Fun times in Hot Lanta:thumbsup:
 

GGW Laurie

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TN is on a sinking ship, GA is looking at gambling and so is AL this November, TN is really missing the boat on this one.

I've long said if they would place casino gambling correcly on the ballot it would pass. Higher tax or casinos (elective tax) one or the other.

Sorry Brianzz, I agree with PA....if not for now Congressman,former State Legislator Steve Cohen of Memphis, I doubt TN would even have a lottery but I would take gambling any day before a State Income Tax which Sundquist and the old man came really close!
nash you know how feel about gambling here, i say put a casino boat on every river we have and keep the money in the state, i love the no state income tax we have here. i cant imagine ever paying state taxes and feel sorry for those that have to pay such high costs, yet we (tenn) manage to keep our roads in good shape, our parks clean, state visitor centers ,ect and we have drawn all types of bizz to the state, guess we are not just a bunch of hicks anymore:)
 
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