According to the findings of a new opinion poll, legalising casinos and sports betting would not be a problem for Georgian state residents.
The state of Georgia is one of the dwindling number of US states that has yet to legalise casino gambling within their territories and the state also has yet to join the list of states that have okayed legal sports betting. Last year, lawmakers discussed both topics but failed to reach any consensus on how best to proceed.
Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, of Georgia, poured cold water earlier this week on the chances of gambling advocates compelling enough fence-sitters to see it in their way. Duncan serves as a gatekeeper for whom bills come to the state senate’s floor, and he said on Monday that he had yet to see an “overwhelming push for gambling here.” Permitting casinos to operate in Georgia would require a constitutional amendment, so that a gambling bill would need the support of a two-thirds majority in both legislative houses of the legislature, and then the approval of the electoral referendum.
House Speaker David Ralston is urging this November’s election ballot to ask a question that would seek permission from Georgians to allow casinos, online sports betting, and horseracing wagers. Some lawmakers recommended that this list be narrowed down to the most accepted forms of gambling.
According to a new poll of 1,025 local residents in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, casino gambling has the highest level of support, with 64.2 percent of respondents saying they were happy with casinos in their state, two points higher than a similar survey in 2016. In the new poll, sports betting received 57.1 percent support, with younger voters showing considerably greater enthusiasm for both gambling choices than seniors.
Having pledged years ago to spend $1.4b on an integrated resort, MGM Resorts was among the most ardent suitors of an Atlanta-area casino. Las Vegas Sands has also expressed interest in Atlanta, but if politicians could finally push this legislative elephant over the finish line, all big US corporations will likely throw their hat into the ring.