A bill moving through the Georgia State Legislature to allow up to six casino resorts has already attracted MGM Resorts International, which is now proposing to build a $1 billion gambling complex in Downtown Atlanta, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Mgm casino.
MGM, the company licensed to build a casino in downtown Springfield, cannot build in Atlanta without legislative permission, however. The Atlanta Journal Constitution report s that the bill, proposed by Economic Development Committee Chairman Ron Stephens, has not yet passed but has gained popularity through the past week and may appear on the statewide ballot in November 2016.
Proposals to build casino resorts in Georgia have failed in the past, however Stephens hopes that support will grow, and MGM has reportedly hired 5 lobbyists to back the effort. To pass, the bill would require a two-thirds vote from legislators.
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If the bill passes, local governments could propose to voters the option to allow a casino to be built in their area. The state would be partitioned into five zones and no more than six casino licenses would be permitted- each overseen by the Georgia Lottery Corp. Any project would require approval of the state lottery board, appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal, as well.
The lottery in Georgia funds education, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports new casino projects would benefit the HOPE Scholarship, which offers in state tuition to students attending public universities or technical colleges.
Reports from the Atlanta Journal Constitution also note that MGM has been scouting out Atlanta in recent months, and that an MGM spokesperson confirmed the company's interest in the city, but said its analysis is in "the very preliminary stages." Their plans reportedly include a luxury hotel and an entertainment venue in addition to a gaming floor.
Thanks in part to the delay of the Interstate 91 project in Western Mass., the grand opening for the $800 million MGM Springfield casino project has been moved to September 2018. Other MGM projects currently in the works include the $1.2 billion National Harbor casino project outside Washington, D.C, and a Park and Arena entertainment project which includes a new shopping and entertainment center along with a 20,000-seat arena project with the Anschutz Entertainment Group in Las Vegas, NV.
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