CasinoGamblingWeb.com seems a bit ticked off that GOP gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal has soften his position on the idea of bringing casinos to Georgia.
If you recall Deal originally appeared open to the idea during an appearance at a tourism forum in Savannah. That was until religious conservatives reacted in disbelief. The Associated Press reported Ray Newman, lobbyist for the Georgia Baptist Convention, became so alarmed he called the former congressman to express his concern.
Now Deal is catching heat from the gambling industry. Terry Goodwin of CasinoGamblingWeb writes:
Georgia gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal has shown … just how far politicians will go to secure votes in upcoming elections. Deal, who originally voiced his willingness to consider casino gambling expansion in the state, has now backpedalled from that position.
Speaking earlier this month, Deal proclaimed that he would keep an open mind when dealing with the casino gambling issue. The issue has been raised this year as a way to increase revenue for the state in these tough economic times.
[Last] week, however, a spokesman for Deal claimed that the candidate was opposed to casino gambling. That would indicate that there is a chance Deal could veto legislation that lawmakers create that would add casinos in the state of Georgia.
“This may become an issue that his opponent exploits moving into the election cycle for November,” said Gaming Analyst Steve Schwartz. “Gambling has become a hot issue, and Georgia will not be the only state where a governor race could be determined by a candidate’s stance on gambling expansion.”
The Democratic candidate running against Deal, Democrat Roy Barnes, has been firm on his stance against casinos in Georgia. Barnes has asserted that Deal is not a stable candidate to be the top politician in office. The race could hinge on the support of the conservative Christians in the state.
The Georgia Christian Coalition has questioned Deal’s commitment to keeping casinos out of Georgia. Jerry Luquire, the head of the coalition, believes that by Deal not going as far as to say he would veto casino legislation, he, in fact, is supporting gambling expansion.
During the tourism forum, Demcratic rival Roy Barnes wasn’t too keen on bringing slot machines, roulette wheels and black jack tables to the state, which already has a lottery.