South Mississippi’s casino industry dodged a competitive bullet when Georgia legislators apparently won’t pass legislation this year to legalize casinos in that state.
The Associated Press reports that Georgia Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, said Monday he doesn’t have enough votes to get the bill out of the Senate Regulated Industries Committee.
Columbus state Rep. Calvin Smyre, D-Ga., was surprised that the bill stalled in committee and did not get to the Senate floor for a vote.
Beach says he’ll try again next year but will travel around Georgia before the next legislative session to promote the idea.
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His plan for this year would have allowed two casino resorts, one in Atlanta and one in another area of the state.
Democratic Rep. Calvin Smyre of Columbus told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer that he was surprised that the bill stalled in committee and did not get to the Senate floor for a vote.
“I knew this was going to be an uphill battle,” Smyre said. “But I never thought it would not get out of the Senate committee.”
Legalizing casinos in Georgia could hurt the bottom line for South Mississippi casinos. The Mississippi Gaming Commission reports that in January, 44,000 of the visitors to the Coast casinos were from Georgia.
Mary Perez/Sun Herald