A new law will crack down on illegal cash payouts that some convenience store owners give to winners of video lottery machine games. The measure will allow Georgia for the first time to regulate and track the machines and the awards. It will also allow the state to ensure that all of the machines’ operators are paying taxes on the terminals.
Georgia lawmakers have approved an overhaul of who regulates video poker and similar coin-operated machines in the state, and opened the door for some proceeds to be directed to the HOPE scholarship program.
Conservative groups spoke out Tuesday at the state Capitol about legislation under consideration, including a bill aimed at lobbyists and a video poker measure. They say it would expand gambling in Georgia.
A bill that would allow the state to get a better handle on video poker machines moved one step closer to becoming law Thursday. The vote followed a spirited three-hour debate in the state Senate that revealed ambivalence about permitting the machines in Georgia.
The State Senate is expected to vote on a measure Thursday that would allow the state to regulate video poker machines that award non-cash prizes. The bill's backers want to crack down on what they say are the machines' under-the-table payouts.