Georgia Casino Coalition Forms To Persuade The State To Legalize Gambling

Posted on: July 21, 2021, 9:37 a.m.

Last update on: July 21, 2021, 01:55 a.m.

Georgia’s casino legalization efforts have failed in each of the previous two legislative sessions. But gaming companies are not backing down on their ambitions to develop large-scale integrated resorts in Peach State.

Georgia casino atlanta resort
The Atlanta Motor Speedway owner group is looking to build a casino and entertainment complex adjacent to the NASCAR track. A Georgia casino lobbying coalition plans to help this cause next year. (Image: Getty)

Several of the world’s largest players in the global gaming industry, including Wynn Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and Hard Rock International, are focusing their lobbying efforts on Georgia. the Atlanta Business Column announced that the casino companies are merging their campaign energies to win over lawmakers in the state of the capital of Atlanta.

Other casino operators involved in the political action committee would be Penn National Gaming, Bally’s Corporation and Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Attractive market

American casino groups are looking for untapped commercial gaming markets. Along with Georgia, Texas and Florida were heavily targeted.

Georgia is attractive for a number of reasons. The state’s population has grown every decade since 1790, with Georgia now counting more than 10.8 million people as residents. This makes it the seventh most populous state in the United States.

Georgia also has the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International. In 2019, before the pandemic, 110.5 million people passed through the terminal.

Georgia is also a state obsessed with sports. It is home to the NFL Falcons, MLB Braves and NBA Hawks. Augusta, Georgia hosts the Masters golf tournament each year, and the Georgia Bulldogs and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets participate in the SEC and ACC college conferences, respectively.

Atlanta Motor Speedway offers two annual NASCAR Cup Series races. And the track, located in Hampton about 20 miles south of the downtown capital, wants to transform the site into an entertainment destination with a casino and an integrated resort.

Speedway Motorsports, the owner of the facility, has partnered with Foxwoods to offer a $ 1 billion investment. Developers say the project, if gambling were to become legal in Georgia, would bring the region a 700-room hotel, an 85,000-square-foot casino, a convention center, an 11,000-seat concert hall, numerous restaurants. , a 300,000 square foot shopping center, movie theater, 400 timeshare complex and theme park.

Foxwoods is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. The Connecticut Native American group is much less invested outside its home state than its neighboring Mohegan tribe.

Featured sports betting in Session 2022

Georgia’s General Assembly concluded its 2021 legislative session at the end of March. When it resumes in January 2022, gaming and sports betting advocates will try to entice Republican lawmakers into adopting measures to allow non-lottery gaming.

It will not be an easy mission. A deeply religious and conservative state, Republicans have controlled the governor’s office, Senate, and House since 2005.

But with legal sports betting and commercial casinos continuing to expand in the Southeast, a few notable states that have recently adopted gambling bills like Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, and North Carolina , perhaps 2022 presents better odds for supporters.

In addition to the Atlanta Motor Speedway lot, casino companies are considering building resorts at the CNN Center, Centennial Yards, and in the towns of Augusta, Hartwell and Kingsland.

Rich Lackey, a commercial real estate executive who promotes Georgia for casinos, says the total investment could reach $ 5 billion.

“It would be a vote against $ 5 billion in brick and mortar construction and 50,000 new jobs in Georgia,” Lackey said of lawmakers potentially opposed to the gambling laws.

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