ATLANTA (AP) – The sponsor of legislation to allow casino gambling in Georgia says the effort is dead for the year.
State Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, said Monday that he doesn’t have enough votes to get the bill out of the Senate Regulated Industries Committee. Beach says he will travel around Georgia before the next legislative session to promote the idea.
Friday marks a key deadline for lawmakers. Bills must pass at least one chamber to remain alive for the year.
Beach’s proposal would have allowed two resorts to offer gambling.
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The first required a $2 billion investment in the counties surrounding Atlanta and the second required a $450 million investment in another area. Taxes on gambling would support college scholarships along with rural hospital grants.
But religious organizations opposed any gambling expansion.
State Sen. David Lucas, D-Macon, said he would have voted for the bill.
“No. 1, it dedicated 30 percent of the money to health care — 15 percent going to trauma care and then 15 percent going to rural health care,” Lucas said. He also supported some of the other proposed spending for gaming revenue: rural broadband and need-based college scholarships.