The push to legalize casinos in Georgia is a story we have been and will continue to report on. After all, it is already looking like 2017 will be a make it or break it year for the state of Georgia. Right now, casino proponents are optimistic that they can get legislation passed to allow for at least 2 casino resorts to be built, but there is still a lot that needs to be done before that can happen.
Not wasting any time, some of the biggest names in the casino industry have already put a lot of money into the legalization effort in Georgia. Though hopes are up right now, only time will tell if all the money being spent will help propel lawmakers and citizens to agree that brick and mortar casinos should be added to the state of Georgia.
According to the Atlanta’s Business Chronicle, massive casino corporations such as Wynn Resorts Ltd., MGM Resorts International, and las Vegas Sands Corp. have already enlisted in upwards of 50 lobbyist to help propel pro-casino legislation forward.
Right now, Georgia’s General Assembly is considering legislation that would amend the state’s constitution. If approved, the amendment would make it so that 2 casino resorts would be able to exist in Georgia. In order for the amendment to go forward, it would require approval from the state’s citizenry. Right now, that does not seem like it will end up being all that much of an obstacle. What will be challenging, however, is getting the approval of Governor Nathan Deal. Deal has made it quite clear over the years that he is opposed to gambling, but has not shut the door completely. Recently, he alluded that even though he was opposed to gambling, he is likely going to honor the vote of the citizens. So, if Georgian citizens approve the amendment, Deal alluded that he would not stand in its way. Of course, there is still a long way to go between now and then, and Deal can change his mind at any point in time.
It seems as though, everywhere you look, a new state or region is legalizing brick and mortar casino gambling. While this is true, most of these states and regions are located in the Northeast and Midwest United States, not the South. If Georgia were to legalize brick and mortar casinos, it would offer the opportunity for casino gambling to citizens of South Carolina, a neighboring state that is amongst the most restrictive in the nation when it comes to brick and mortar casinos.
9 states have legalized casino gambling in one form or another over the last decade and a half, and the hope is that Georgia will be the 10th. There is still a lot to be done yet, but as we have been saying all along, it seems as though Georgia is heading in the right direction. Beyond that, we will continue to play the waiting game.