A stack of proposals failed to make it past Georgia’s legislative vote last week, including House Resolution 327, one that would have asked for a vote to change the state’s constitution to allow casino gambling in the state. These failures aren’t a surprise considering how resistant state leaders have been against gambling in the past. However, one would’ve thought that more attention would be paid to these bills and legalizing gambling in Georgia especially since it appears that a majority of state residents approve of gambling.
House Resolution 327, authored by Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) was a resolution proposing to amend the Constitution to allow for a limited number of licensed operators in Georgia to offer casino gambling. HR 327 required “yes” votes from at least two-thirds majority of both houses. It did not cross over from one house to the other by the 28th day of the legislative session, so it will become inactive until the next legislative session next year; however, a live bill may have the substance of HR 327 added to it to be heard later this legislative session.
State Representative Ron Stephens isn’t going to walk away from this bill:
“I’m not going to give up. I’m going to come back another year. We’ve got a whole lot of venues out here in Georgia that may have only one or two events per year, and they’d like to add some of these tourism products.”
Stephens said the reason the bill didn’t make it farther is because some legislators weren’t comfortable asking voters to change the constitution until legislation could outline more specific details of the plan.
Other measures that didn’t make it any further included one that would have banned domestic abusers from buying or owning guns, one that would have prevented the aggressive booting of cars and trucks parked on private property, and one that would have allowed parents to choose to direct where their state money went regarding their children’s schools. Yet, another would have levied a tax against products sold online.
For Georgia, this isn’t just about gambling. The state will also need to look into sports betting as well. Furthermore, decisions will need to be made on where the casinos would be located, the taxes involved, operators, gambling education programs and so much more. It appears that Georgia doesn’t appear to be close to legalizing gambling within the state. 2021 could be a realistic timeframe for this to happen.
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