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