Georgia could generate about $1 billion a year by legalizing three casinos. That's the conclusion of a report the Georgia lottery quietly gave Governor Nathan Deal last week. The lottery's board paid for the study. It looked at how much Georgia stood to gain by licensing casinos in Atlanta, Savannah and Jekyll Island.
Some local governments are issuing moratoriums on on so-called "sweepstakes centers." The centers call themselves "internet cafes" and offer prizes for games. Law enforcement officials call them "stealth casinos." The coastal City of St. Marys passed a local ordinance limiting them.
Governor Nathan Deal announced a statewide crackdown on Internet gambling Thursday. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation estimated there are 50 to 100 gambling businesses in the state disguised as Internet cafes. Deal has directed the GBI and district attorneys to go after the cafes.
A band of Oklahoma-based Creek Indians wants to move to Georgia. Members of the Kialegee tribe are asking US Indian Affairs officials to declare part of St. Simons Island Georgia's first federally-approved indian reservation. Some local officials would welcome local development as long as it doesn't mean gambling.
A proposal to expand casino-like video lottery terminals to help fund the HOPE Scholarship program appears to be dead. When Governor Nathan Deal unveiled his own plan to fix HOPE this week, he rejected expanding gambling. And that pleased officials on Jekyll Island, where Republican State Representative Ron Stephens of Savannah proposed putting terminals.