The lottery commission in Georgia commissioned a study that found the state could generate $1 billion by legalizing three casinos. So far, the governor and state lawmakers are mum as to whether they support adding casinos in the Peach state.
The study is the classic first step down the gambling path. The state floats the trial balloon with the lottery study that no one asked for. Big surprise, the study comes back with promises of big bucks. Of course, the study doesn’t factor in the costs of gambling both social and economic. By dangling the $1 billion figure in front of lawmakers, the casino push is now on.
The casino lobbyists move in to the state capital and help draft a bill. Voters may or may not have any input in the major policy decision.
Before you know it, the slot machines will be up and running. And Georgia will join other states in the fleecing of their own citizens with a regressive gambling tax that leads to increases in crime, bankruptcy, suicide and divorce among other social ills. All in the name of generating a few bucks for state coffers.
UPDATE: Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Jay Bookman makes a strong case against casinos in Georgia. Bookman rightly points out how little casinos have done to help cities like Reno and Atlantic City. He should know since he lived in Las Vegas and got to see up close the various downsides that come with gambling.