Don’t look for Nathan Deal to approve video gambling

There is a movement afoot to move the Georgia Lottery from scratch-offs to the video screen, as a way of boosting revenue and restoring this year’s cuts to HOPE scholarships. From my AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin:

Dave Garrett, an Atlanta real estate developer and coalition member who was the lottery’sfirst board chairman, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that video gambling revenue would make up for the $300 million shortfall for lottery-funded HOPE scholarships and pre-k. The HOPE 20/20 Coalition also includes Cadillac Jack, a Duluth-based video gambling machine company. Garrett said the coalition will expand to include other businesses and individuals interested in protecting lottery programs.

But such a move, for all intents and purposes, would need a green light from Gov. Nathan Deal.

And that’s not likely to happen. Let us direct your attention to Deal’s recent veto of SB 19, a bill designed to a) make it clear that Internet gambling cafes now springing up in small Georgia towns are illegal; and b) allow winner of amusement machine games to receive gift cards – redeemable for goods but not cash.

Deal declared that he had problems with both “a” and “b”:

I am vetoing this legislation because I do not believe SB 19 provides sufficient clarity or enforcement powers to shut down Internet cafes and I also find that the modifications to the current Class A and Class B classifications of coin-operated machines could lead to unintended consequences.

By “unintended consequences,” the governor meant gambling. And a man who’s fearful of backdoor entry by the forces of chance isn’t likely to open the front door. In spite of Deal’s signature on the Sunday sales bill – and perhaps because of it, too – this governor’s unlikely to support any broadening of the lottery’s place in educational funding.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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24 comments Add your comment

Southern DisComfort

May 26th, 2011
2:54 pm

Bishop Eddie Long said he was going to fight in Court to clear his name.
Instead, he reached a Settlement because he is guilty of sexual misconduct.

Danny O

May 26th, 2011
3:03 pm

I, along with a ton of other folks in our state, do not support slots, video lottery tickets, and the like. Electronic gaming machines are the crack cocaine of gambling.

But what about live poker? In addition to revenue for HOPE and pre-K, it would provide jobs to dealers and would bring in people from surrounding states who don’t have poker rooms (with the exception of Florida). It is a game of skill, not of chance, in which the players compete against each other rather than against the house. Plus, larger tournaments are international events, bringing large numbers of players and fans from all over, as well as press and production crews.

It’s worth investigating. As people learn more, they soon understand that poker is very different from slots or other casino games.


May 26th, 2011
3:07 pm

Why would Deal do anything to raise revenue, help the economy, and improve HOPE??!!


May 26th, 2011
3:45 pm

Galloway and the rest of the AJC staff are having a frosty day now that the Supreme Court has upheld the Arizona anti-ILLEGAl immigration law which punishes employers who hire ILLEGALS.

Ol' Timer

May 26th, 2011
3:53 pm

The Guv will not consider the gaming devices but will give the manufacturer a tax break — wherever he is.


May 26th, 2011
4:07 pm

too bad, so sad. meth-heads need a outlet. now when they congregate at my local gas station, I guess they’ll be criminal loiterers.


May 26th, 2011
4:30 pm

“Why would Deal do anything to raise revenue, help the economy, and improve HOPE??!!”

Because gambling taxes, while voluntary, are regressive–for one.


May 26th, 2011
4:40 pm

Well, RGB, apparently you believe in a Nanny State. As an adult, I should have the right do do whatever I damn well please, as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else, and neither you nor Deal nor the Christian Coalition nor anybody else should have the right to tell me how to live my life. I am sick and tired of you holier than thou right wingers dictating to the rest of us what to do and what not to do.


May 26th, 2011
4:48 pm

It’s not about improving HOPE. The lottery was supposed to support HOPE. It’s about lining the pockets of the fatcats who would run it. Honestly though, if people want to waste their money, I don’t mind. The problem is when they’re broke they’ll just blame society and use it as an excuse to commit crimes.


May 26th, 2011
5:13 pm

You win Pete.

In addition to people who follow Christ Jesus, are there any others for whom you have this surface level, seething anger?

Go ahead, let it out.


May 26th, 2011
5:20 pm

It’s funny. I made the comment that gambling is a regressive tax meaning (loosely) that it affects the poor more than it does the rich. It’s an economic term. Most people oppose hurting the poor though Pete may be in that rare group who feels otherwise. I said nothing about right wing or the Christian Coalition.

Pete is a clairvoyant. A left wing secular clairvoyant.

But he’s not an economist.


May 26th, 2011
5:39 pm


I am sympathetic to your claim that the tax might be regressive. However, I am also sympathetic to Pete’s being tired of conservatives spouting “Get government out of our lives”, except of course if we are doing anything not sanctioned by the religious right. Given that Nathan deal’s latest revamping of the HOPE scholarship was merit-based, rather than need-based (as HOPE was originally construed), I am pretty sure being regressive and hurting the poor has little to do with his decision.


May 26th, 2011
5:44 pm

We learned from Alabama just how corrupt video gambling is. Any politician who supports video gambling probably is on the take. When the campaign in the AJC started this am my first thought was who took the money. Video Bingo Baker advocated video gambling and it might be a few years before we find out how he got paid.


May 26th, 2011
5:50 pm


Perhaps we learned from Alabama that video can be corrupt, but it does not follow that video gambling is corrupt.


May 26th, 2011
5:51 pm

Sorry, that should have read “video gambling”


May 26th, 2011
6:12 pm

It is a sad state of affairs when we resort to gambling (including the lottery) to fund education. Why can’t we all be grown-ups, accept our responsibilities, and pay taxes at a level appropriate to fund it?

Alabama Communist

May 26th, 2011
7:02 pm

More Breaking News On Deal Veto………..The Cadillac Jack Corporation said today they were going to wager that Deal would fold on the Veto when they release their and new amazing Game Video that forcloses on the Governor personal property without lawyers……..

[...] Don’t look for Nathan Deal to approve video gambling – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blo… [...]

phil c

May 26th, 2011
10:10 pm

The GA Lottery is one of the most effective wealth transfer schemes ever devised: it takes from the poor and gives to the rich. What’s wrong with that? If you mess it up, you’re going to have a whole lot of the top 1% wealthiest people made at you.


May 27th, 2011
11:19 am

The Governor and Lt Governor better start listening to all of their constituents instead of just the lobbists, alcohol, cigarettes and politically correct people.. There are still a few right winged conservative evangelicals who can vote and are not all “loud mouths”…


May 27th, 2011
6:43 pm

We need casino gambling and prostitution to be legalized in Georgia!

phil c

May 27th, 2011
11:51 pm

David: prostitution is legal in Georgia, you just have to have the terms (Sen.) or (Rep.) suffixed to your name. GA legislators are giving real sex workers a bad name.

Last Man Standing

May 28th, 2011
1:50 pm

The state owns the monopoly on gambling. Why would they want to share that domain with anyone?