12/4: Should Georgia expand gambling?

By the AJC Editorial Board

The numbers are hard to ignore: Video lottery casinos in Atlanta, Savannah and Jekyll Island could gin up nearly $934 million in projected gross revenue by 2014. A sizable chunk of that money could flow into state coffers during a time when spending has been cut by billions.

That prospect deserves further, sober-hearted, coldly analytical study when the Georgia General Assembly reconvenes in January, if not before. What it doesn’t warrant right now is either an outright rejection or a full-bore enthusiastic embrace. The latter would indicate that the seductive bright lights, clamor and glitz of gambling halls have triumphed over common sense and the common good.

What’s needed instead is a businesslike, comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of whether Georgia and its pressing needs in education and other areas would be better served by a measured expansion of some form of gambling. There are other questions, too. Would an Atlanta casino make us a more-attractive convention and tourism location, for example?

Read our editorial and tell us what you think.

17 comments Add your comment

Whattheysaid

December 4th, 2011
9:19 pm

No. No. No.

If you’re not happy with civilian debt, federal, state, local gov debt, the state of the economy now, wait till they institute gambling full tilt.
Forget it.

get real

December 4th, 2011
9:00 pm

Bring gambling, casinos and a stud ranch. Mama needs some schlong…lol

get real

December 4th, 2011
8:58 pm

Gambling might be for losers but there is no denying it increases revenues. The problem is it is at the expense of the poor who play with the unrealistic dream that they might become rich.

Tommy

December 4th, 2011
8:51 pm

We better not expand gambling because it will bring the devil to our state and that is bad. This is what my preacher told me when I saw him in the liquor store.

shawn

December 4th, 2011
6:57 pm

Who has the money to gamble ? I see people losing thier homes, jobs, and everytning else. So please tell me how will cassinos improve Georgia’s economy.

Sandy

December 4th, 2011
4:58 pm

We went Greenbriar Resort this year and I spent an enjoyable hour in their casino when I had nothing else to do. I would not object to having casino’s at legitimate resorts as part of the resort experience, but I would not like to see casinos in Atlanta. I am in agreement with Meli. The lure of gambling riches to solve our financial problems is a lazy way out for our lawmakers to avoid the real issues of governance. Look at California – casinos have not solved their financial deficits.

Meli

December 4th, 2011
3:24 pm

I’m opposed to the idea, but not because I’m opposed to gambling.

The problem is the people who support the idea of a casino keep using the argument about how much money it will put into the local economy and everyone will benefit in terms of overall quality of life. Well, if you travel to Atlantic City or to Biloxi, you will see that is simply not the case.

Yes, the casinos make money, but then the money stays there. It does not go out into the community. It’s an employer who brings a few jobs to the area, but few new businesses start up outside the casino, so you’re not getting much in the way of new tax revenue. Then the politicians start cutting their financial committment to such things as education and the local infrastructure because they want to rely on the casino to pay for it. So what you get, when you travel to these other places where the same promises happened, is that you have a nice shiny casino in the middle of a community who continues to have urban blight, low education, low income, and high unemployment.

Relying on a casino to solve all of our money problems is irresponsible and a pipe dream. In fact, if Georgia were a parent and was relying on the casino to feed his/her children, DFCS would be stepping in right now to take those children away and send Georgia to parenting classes.

nelson howard

December 4th, 2011
1:06 pm

Georgia should have video lottery terminals[VLT] now.
Rhode Island has VLT and takes in 823 dollars for every person in the state.

Georgia has 8,684,715 population. If they wewr as successful as RI. the income for the state would be $71,475,204. That is serious money, and could be used to finance the dredgeing of the Savannah Harbor.
It is a win-win solution. Billions of dollars would come with container ships carrying 10000 containers full of imports and exports.

Gambling is for losers

December 4th, 2011
12:47 pm

One other statement.
If you don’t think other forms of gambling will eat away at the income for the Lottery then you know nothing about discretionary spending on a personal level

Gambling is for losers

December 4th, 2011
12:29 pm

It is so sad and pathetic that so called leaders promote gambling as the answer
to our budgetary issues.
As a gambler myself and I know the game. I know that the industry has become to
large with too many states in the game. everyone that thinks that legalizing gambling will
be the answer I urge you to do one thing. Look at every state that has some form of
legalized gambling and then tell me what you see when you also look at that states budget.
OH MY that all have budget/money issues? WAIT, their leaders said gambling would solve that.
This issue is for suckers. Don’t buy into it.
Oh I know, we are letting those tax dollars slip away to other states. That is an empty argument.
It that is the case, lets build a beach in Atlanta. We can’t let Miami/Destin/ Hilton Head
have those tax dollars. Heck no.
Get a grip people. There are only 5 issues we need to worry about to help our tax base.
Education, Transportation, Industry, Public Safety, and a clean environment.
If Georgia will work on those issues and then we will continue to grow.