No casinos this year for Georgia after bill stalls

Georgia State Capitol
A view of the Georgia State Capitol on Jan. 5, 2017. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

ATLANTA ( — A bid to bring casino gambling to the Peach State fell short, according to published reports in WSB-TV and other outlets.

Senate Bill 79, titled the Destination Resort Act, would have created the Georgia Gaming Commission and legalized a pair of resort-style casinos in Georgia.

The bill died as one of the houses of the Georgia General Assembly did not approve it before Crossover Day. The legislature can resurrect the bill when it reconvenes in January.

The commission was to be modeled after Nevada’s Gaming Commission and would have included five members appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the state house.

Under the draft considered, a county with a population of more than 900,000 residents and with an investment of at least $2 billion would receive one of the licenses. According to state population estimates, the only county with more than 900,000 residents is Fulton County, which is where Atlanta is located.

The second license would be for a county with a population of more than 250,000 residents, but not more than 900,000 and with an investment of at least $450 million. According to state population estimates, five counties in Georgia meet the population requirements for the second license, and only Chatham County, where Savannah, Ga., is located, is located outside of Metro Atlanta.

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