‘Gambling zones’ on Jekyll Island, at Lake Lanier and in Savannah?

If you are a conservative Christian wandering the halls of the state Capitol, it is not just SB 10, the Sunday sales bill, that has you spitting nails.

Or the business lobbyists who once conceded your influence – and now do not.

There is more. Possibly you weren’t too fond of last week’s decision by the House to table the English-only requirement for drivers’ license tests, sponsored by state Rep. James Mills, R-Gainesville, a strong ally.

Surely you were upset by the re-introduction by state Rep. Harry Geisinger, R-Roswell, of a measure to permit horse-racing – and the gambling that comes with it.

But what may have pushed you over the edge is the idea of establishing gambling zones in the state – at tourist locales like Jekyll Island and Lake Lanier. Even though the likelihood of passage is slim.

From Walter Jones and Morris News Service:

Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Savannah, said he plans to introduce a constitutional amendment toward the end of the current legislative session to open the door to casinos in parts of the state that already draw tourists, designated as Special Entertainment Zones.

He suggests places like Jekyll Island, Lake Lanier and Savannah’s Hutchinson Island, home to the Georgia International Trade Center, upscale hotels and a marina for yachts and cruise ships.

Stephens wouldn’t extend the zone to the waterways around Hutchinson Island because he doesn’t want cruise ships to be able to offer their onboard gambling until they’re three miles off the Georgia coast. That would leave tourists who like to wager with just the onshore option.

“I want them to have the opportunity to spend their money in Georgia rather than taking their money on the ship and spending it somewhere else,” said Stephens, chairman of the House Economic Development & Tourism Committee.

The casinos would play games of the Georgia Lottery which goes to fund the HOPE Scholarship and Pre-K program.

The state constitution already recognizes one Special Entertainment Zone around the Underground Atlanta-Georgia Dome area. His legislation would allow the state to create new ones. His plan builds on a proposal by developers to encourage the Georgia Lottery Corp. to use its existing authority to approve video terminals similar to video poker or slot machines. The developers want the terminals in a casino they want to build near Underground in that entertainment zone.

The lottery’s board hasn’t acted on the developers’ request since it was first made two years ago, primarily because then-Gov. Sonny Perdue opposed the expansion of legalized gaming. Gov. Nathan Deal has been less adamant about blocking it, and supporters feel encouraged.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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116 comments Add your comment

right on!

February 15th, 2011
5:30 pm

I’m totally in favor of this. Which generally means it doesn’t have a shot in hell in Georgia.

Jimbo Murray

February 15th, 2011
5:42 pm

Love to see legal gambling in Georgia. I could spend my fun money in-state instead of going to Biloxi.

Just Nasty & Mean

February 15th, 2011
5:42 pm

These are great ideas. Unfortunately, the prudes and thumpers will take their biblical doctrine, contort it—and jam it down our throats.

Question Man

February 15th, 2011
5:45 pm

Is a possible compromise to allow gambling at these locations, but prohibit it on Sundays?

DW

February 15th, 2011
5:51 pm

@Question Man You are SICK for even suggesting that we need another f-ing Blue Law in this retarded, assbackwards state. SERIOUSLY??? GO TO CHURCH AND LEAVE THE REST OF US ALONE!

right on!

February 15th, 2011
5:54 pm

I do the same Jimbo – although this wont pass, they ought to fund a study into how much Georgians spend out of state on Gambling in places like Biloxi and that Cherokee casino in NC. I too would prefer to keep that money in state, especially if it benefits the hope scholarship. But you can’t play craps or blackjack on a scratch off ticket.

DW

February 15th, 2011
5:55 pm

“Possibly you weren’t too fond of last week’s decision by the House to table the English-only requirement for drivers’ license tests, sponsored by state Rep. James Mills, R-Gainesville, a strong ally.”

^^Just another half a$$ed Republican effort to piss on people of a different color. D0uchbags

Boost the Economy

February 15th, 2011
6:07 pm

This is an excellent way to stimulate top line revenue generation, provide thousands of jobs and decrease our state debt! People need to consider the monetary gains of these “Progressive” ideas. We aren’t living in Maybury anymore.

The demographic in Georgia is more than white, christian republicans! The world doesn’t not revolve around constipated old, white men who are grumpy and have no sense of economic health. Same guys that are saying ‘NO’ to healthcare reform.

My advice to these bitter coots? WORRY ABOUT YOURSELVES- MORE THAN A FULLTIME JOB. I don’t understand why these people are always interfering with other peoples lives, or atleast try to anyway. If someone wants to go pray to some unimaginary figure, I;m not going to stop them. If someone wants to read a dull book that i dont give a crap about, Im not going to stop them.

same should apply- if someone wants a six pack on a sunday to watch a game, its their unalienable right to do so. if someone what to go to a dograce or horse race- who are you to be all high and mighty- jesus was an alcoholic and a gambler. they dont say that in the bible

Bill Johnson

February 15th, 2011
6:15 pm

Why is it that it’s a vice until the government decides it needs a cut of the revenue?

Taxing it doesn’t wash it’s sins away, does it? Does it? It Does? Tax marijuana…

Hypocrites. Not the Christians – they’re consistent. The politicals – they just want power and your money.

Alabama Communist

February 15th, 2011
6:32 pm

Meanwhile a tribe of Georgia Indians who were thought to be wipe out during the American Civil War, emerged today saying they would run the Gaming Zones and pay the Republicans the standard 10% kickback or they would declared war on them in the name Republican backward Tea Party!!!!!!!

cs

February 15th, 2011
6:37 pm

Not on Jekyll Island.Too many families with children go there and they dont need drugs prostitues and gambling around them. If the people in savannah want to screw their town up then wahtever.

TnGelding

February 15th, 2011
6:42 pm

Great idea! Let the good times roll! Keep our money in the state and capture the leisure dollars of tourists and vacationers. And raise that hotel and motel tax while you’re at it.

DJ Sniper

February 15th, 2011
6:44 pm

I’m not much of a gambler at all, but I’m all for anything that pisses off the religious right.

Thomas

February 15th, 2011
6:46 pm

They (Georgia Legislature) are waking up!

The Truth

February 15th, 2011
6:49 pm

Christians have no place in politics. Remember separation of church & state? You’re houses of worship are filled with corruption, hypocracy, and scandal, yet you’re bold enough to push your luke-warm values off on the rest of us? If you don’t want to drink on Sunday or take a turn at the slot machines, then don’t do it – that’s your choice. But you better darn not push your beliefs off on me.

YGBSM

February 15th, 2011
6:58 pm

Just what GA needs. Sell the State short for quick $$ and ruin the nice quality of life in those three areas.

TK

February 15th, 2011
7:02 pm

I am an evangelical Christian – but I don’t see any problem with gambling in tourist areas nor Sunday sales. Schafer and the other politicos are grandstanding. Most believers honestly don’t care.

Drew

February 15th, 2011
7:10 pm

I think putting gambling in the mountains would be good too. Go up to the Blue Ridge Mtns, hike, and play the slots!

Cutty

February 15th, 2011
7:20 pm

If there is no craps, roulette,blackjack, or poker involved, whats the point?

Who wants to play scratch offs on their vacay?

pn

February 15th, 2011
7:26 pm

Leave Jekyll Island out of this. It is a family vacation area, a fragile barrier island and a nature preserve.
Please, no more destructive, grandiose, greedy, quasi-criminal development schemes for this beautiful state park. Put your casinos on Saint Simon’s or Savannah, where the greed is good.

Brent Scott

February 15th, 2011
7:26 pm

I think it is a great idea. These same people, the conservative, Bible-carrying, gay bashing, anti-abortion, hypocrits, the Republicans, are the same people who are complaining about education being cut both on the federal and state level. If legalizing gambling at a few locations across the state will bring in revenue to help education, I say, “Go for it!” All this group wants to do is b**** but not deliver any solutions!!! At least the Republican Party in Georgia is on the same page with the Republican Paty of the country, they are on the page of non-sense government. I am glad I left Georgia because you people are crazy for electing the GOP into power for both the state and national levels. Good luck because Georgia is sinking because of the conservative right, who claim to be “Godly” but know nothing about it’s true meaning!!!

Really Ticked

February 15th, 2011
7:28 pm

I am against any government expansion or new forms or taxation until these ya hoos cut the fat. Cut the bloated salaries, cut the pop barrel projects, cut the over paid educators, shape up the DOT.

Georgia Donkey

February 15th, 2011
7:32 pm

Im ALL IN! We should have the right to spend our money the way we want, like real poker though not the mickey mouse junk, if not then on to Biloxi or Vegas & Georgia loses out, we have freedom of speech but no freedom to spend our own money??? Dumb

RGB

February 15th, 2011
7:34 pm

Believe it or not, one doesn’t have to be a Christian to oppose gambling, support use of the English language for drivers licenses, or some of the other things you come up with.

I could cite the regressive nature of government-sanctioned gambling (along with other things)–but why take air time from folks who just live/I> to hunt down Christians so as to mock them?

DHB

February 15th, 2011
7:35 pm

Georgia, ought to stop being so SLOW to engage in money making opportunties, especially for HOPE! Many Georgians travel across state lines to gamble every day and spend their money that could be spent right here in the State of Georgia. Atlanta is an International city and should act as such.

If gambling does come to Georgia, I would really hope that they would consider having other slot machines besides video slots.

I am all for gambling in the State of Georgia!

Natureman

February 15th, 2011
7:52 pm

Sorry to burst Rep. Ron Stephens bubble but gambling is prohibited on Lake Lanier which is under federal jurisdiction and goverened by ER 1130-2-550
15 Nov 96. It would take considerable effort to change this regulation as it applys nationwide and is unlikely.

If anyone is interested in reading the regulation that prohibits gambling on federal property managed by the COE here is a link http://140.194.76.129/publications/eng-regs/er1130-2-550/c-2.pdf
The referenced section of the regulation is Section 2.2.g.i. Also defined is the management philosophy of the agency.

What ever Virgil and Reynolds want

February 15th, 2011
7:54 pm

Let them have brothels and ladies of the night at the state properties while they’re at it.

Sadie Fields

February 15th, 2011
7:55 pm

I’m all for it. I was going to Las Vegas this year for my annual casino sexcation! Now, I can do it right here in Georgia! I hope the legislators strap their cajones on and pass this thing!

Nathan Wilder Rogers

February 15th, 2011
7:58 pm

Why not allow a legal sports book? It would be big with all the backwoods people from surrounding states to put $$$$ down on their respective redneck teams. Imagine all of the beer and chicken wings consumed.

Why does Vegas get to have all of the fun?

ga female

February 15th, 2011
8:27 pm

I grew up in New York, where you could buy Beer after 12:00 in the grocery store on Sunday. You can gamble in the Casino’s. There are real horse racing with pony’s at the County Fair Ground. We went to watch and bet on the pony races with my Grandmother growing up. Now my mother goes to the race track at the county fair ground and can do video slot machines. New York State knows they have to do this or people like my mother will just go across the border to Canada or down to Atlantic City, NJ. This does not increase crime or drugs, the county fair grounds is in a safe, area in and upscale suburb. With houses that have annual tax bills of $7,500 + in property taxes.

Georgia is dying, look at the high unemployment that is not coming down. The faux bible thumpers have been discovered. Look at Austin Scott’s divorce filling, Porn, booze, drugs just the typical real life of a typical faux Christian Conservative Republican Politicain in Georgia.

Bwana

February 15th, 2011
8:42 pm

Put stripper poles up in the casino’s!!! Get real, this nanny state won’t even let people buy booze at the store on Sunday. This doesn’t have a chance in hell passing.

Mongo

February 15th, 2011
8:47 pm

The Tali-baptists will never allow their Republican thralls to even bring this up for a vote. Why do these Republicons hate freedom so?

Miss Kitty

February 15th, 2011
8:47 pm

What ever Virgil and Reynolds want

February 15th, 2011
7:54 pm
Let them have brothels and ladies of the night at the state properties while they’re at it.

Actually I kinda like that idea. Give a whole new meaning to State Dept. of Parks and “Recreation”.

No More Gambling

February 15th, 2011
8:56 pm

There is enough gambling in Georgia with the state lottery. Gambling money should not be allowed by the government in any way, including boats and on islands. Gambling violates the Bible and the government should not permit any more.

cs

February 15th, 2011
8:56 pm

ga female

go back to new yawk then. delta aint got to be ready if you prefer I-95.

stars&stripes

February 15th, 2011
8:59 pm

One thing is certain – these politicians under the gold dome are for sale, insurance companies, ga power, etc. If the special interest has the money these poiticians are for sale. We guarentee Ga power a ten percent profit even though they are a private company, the insurance lobby was standing in the hall shaking hands after the politicians passed the law that insurance companies could raise their rates for any reason. Thanks, Perdue and Cagle for selling the people of Georgia out. I wonder if this governor will be a sell-out or if he will act with the rule of elected by the people to be for the people.

Triple7's

February 15th, 2011
9:04 pm

Take a walk through the casino parking garages in Biloxi, Cherokee and Tunica and count the number of Georgia tags – mind boggling! All that money is enriching those states and providing a lot of jobs for the residents.

I have been to all three places and find that many of the players seem to be older husband and wife couples and retired folk. Never have I heard or seen any problems with prostitution, and alcohol related problems seem to restricted to the occasional loud drunk.

Gamblers are going to find a way to enjoy their “fun” money – and if Georgia can’t provide it then it’s adios to all that revenue.

Ramguy

February 15th, 2011
9:32 pm

Triple7’s Take a walk through the casino parking garages in Biloxi, Cherokee and Tunica and count the number of Georgia tags

I know what you mean. I’m not a gambler but I did play music in Cherokee a few times. Once when at the Indian Grounds and a few times in the concert hall inside of Harrah’s. Not only was I surprised in the the number of cars from Ga but at the number of people I actually knew from Ga that was in the Casino. Btw, Harrah’s was a class act to work for. Best gig I ever had. That was over 10 years ago. I wonder if they still have the music hall.

The Truth

February 15th, 2011
9:34 pm

I’m tired of useless yankees spouting off about Georgia issues. GO BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM! Maybe the immigration law will pass with a loophole that will allow for the extradition of anyone born above the Mason-Dixon line.

The Real Truth

February 15th, 2011
9:46 pm

If a “useless yankee” now lives in GA and is a resident of the state, they can spout off about GA issues as much as they want. Sometimes it takes a fresh set of eyes to truly see how retarded this state can be.

I’m from NC and I now live in GA… even I think this state can be pretty backwards on some issues. Are you gonna ban me too in that immigration law?

The Truth

February 15th, 2011
9:52 pm

Perhaps I should, given you a) can’t read and b) don’t know where the Mason-Dixon line is located…

Gary Cooper

February 15th, 2011
9:53 pm

This is a great idea. Natureman, yes Lanier is federal property, but any local can tell you that those federal zones around Lanier only go so far and plenty of prime, private real estate is available to build a casino near the lake, not necessarily on it.

I have been for this for years because all of that revenue is leaving the state to Biloxi, Cherokee, and to some extent Las Vegas. Time to keep it in GA and let it benefit us. And contrary to what some of you say, Biloxi and Cherokee are not littered with drug gangs and prostitution. These are quiet vacation spots where alot of young couples and middle to retired age couples go to relax, have fun, and enjoy a vacation. Some of you really need to get a clue and quit believing everything you see on TV.

And I agree with TK, I am a christian and a conservative. However, I am smart enough to know that my personal beliefs and what is the right purpose of my local and state government are separate. I want more local control on issues and less government intrusion on sensible business. Stores should be allowed to sale alcohol any day of the week and revel in their profits as long as they follow the law in doing so. Our state and local municipalities should allow sensible, private gambling to help the state economically. There are no reasons why Georgia cannot be an economic giant in the southeast. We just need real leadership in the general assembly to allow it to happen.

double

February 15th, 2011
10:00 pm

As in the days of Noah

td

February 15th, 2011
10:02 pm

Just to let all you progressive liberals know I personally do not have a issue with gambling, but by reading these comments on this blog tonight of you that spew your venom against people of faith has convinced me that I will oppose this effort also. You communist are for freedom to do anything and everything except be a Christian. I see why so many people have left the democratic party and come to the republican party the past 10 years or so. I think I would much rather be next to a member of the religious right than one of you spewing communist any day.

The Truth

February 15th, 2011
10:04 pm

Double…how sinful of you to be surfing the internet…Gary Cooper – It’s a shame more folks can’t see past their religious blinders to see the significant positive economic boost these changes would make for our state.

The Truth

February 15th, 2011
10:05 pm

td – All for your freedom to worship however you choose…just 200% against you pushing your beliefs off on me under the guise of politics.

Olderandwiser49

February 15th, 2011
10:09 pm

Can’t you just see the new Chamber of Commerce ads going out through the media?
“Come on down to Georgia, where prostitution is proliferate, murder is our motto, and where you’ll find horse racing, gambling establishments, strip clubs, the lottery (for you closet gamblers), and almost a half-million illegal aliens imported to give you that ‘foreign country’ feeling. And bring the kiddies, too. Don’t worry about their welfare or moral corruption, ’cause our state government doesn’t allow stores to sell alcohol on Sunday!” Georgia Government – Hypocrisy in action.

The Real Truth

February 15th, 2011
10:11 pm

Obviously you can’t read. My point was even people BELOW the Mason-Dixon line think this state is backwards on certain issues.

td

February 15th, 2011
10:11 pm

The Truth

February 15th, 2011
10:05 pm
td – All for your freedom to worship however you choose…just 200% against you pushing your beliefs off on me under the guise of politics

That is not a valid argument because everyone is pushing their beliefs on others in the guise of politics. This is really about do we follow the belief of secular humanist, the christian conservatives or someone that can not make up their mind. This is a culture war plain and simple.

The Real Truth

February 15th, 2011
10:14 pm

td… I believe you are the communist since you are so adamant about telling people what they can’t do based on your beliefs. If Sunday sales and/or gambling is allowed, nobody is forcing you to buy alcohol or gamble… but as of right now, people like you are forcing the rest of us to not be able to legally buy alcohol on Sundays or gamble. The fact they won’t even let us, the people, vote on the issue is pure communism.