Baccarat table at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. MGM Resorts International, which owns the MGM Grand, will speak before Georgia lawmakers this week. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
State lawmakers are meeting in Atlanta on Monday and Tuesday to start talking about the future of gambling in Georgia. The House and Senate each has their own committee to look at the issue.

Rep. Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City), who chairs the House committee, says the meetings have a broad goal. “[We’re] going to study the social and economic issues surrounding legislative proposals to bring horse racing and parimutuel wagering to Georgia and resort style casino gambling to Georgia,” he says.

The meetings will also focus on how any future decision to legalize gambling could impact funding for the Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship Program, which has cut the aid it provides students in recent years.

This week, both committees will hear from groups like the Georgia Lottery Corporation and casino developer MGM Resorts International. “We’re looking to get as many subject matter experts as possible to come and testify,” Ramsey says.

He also says that those in opposition to legalizing gambling in the Georgia will have their chance to speak to the committees later this year.

The House and Senate committees will have until Dec. 1 to make any recommendations.

Tags: Atlanta, gambling, MGM, Georgia HOPE scholarships