Former Georgia Gubernatorial Candidate Supports Casino Gaming
If Stacey Evans (D) had her way, casinos and even sports betting would be coming to the Peach State (if she had won this month’s Democratic primary for the GA governor’s seat). Evans supports casino gaming as a means to expand the state’s HOPE scholarship program, which is the Georgia Lottery education initiative that provides some $500 million to public schools each year.
Evans’ main stance is that she wants new casinos and racinos in the state to be used for adding a “needs-based aid” allotment to the HOPE system, and she derides winning candidate Stacey Abrams (D) for not supporting or voting for the years-running bipartisan issue of bringing “gambling destination resorts” into the state.
Current governor Nathan Deal (R) and house speaker David Ralston (R) have also dismissed the notion of establishing such gambling facilities in the state, which draws Evans into even starker contrast with her ideological rivals. Republican frontrunner for the GA governorship, Casey Cagle, is also opposed to the idea of installing casinos or other gambling destinations in the state.
So unfortunately, with Evans – the sole pro-gambling major candidate in the Georgia governor’s race – being eliminated from contention, both parties’ likely candidates are, for now, vocally anti-gambling. Though the Supreme Court threw out PASPA and made it legal for every state to implement its own sports betting laws, GA seems to be well behind the curve for the moment.
Of course, politicians are fickle, and with sports betting now being “accepted” by the SCOTUS, it is not entirely unlikely that Cagle (or his run-off opponent Brian Kemp, star of an unconvincing viral “pro-gun” ad) will change their positions on the huge moneymaking industry. Indeed, many pundits and analysts expect casino gaming and sports betting in Georgia – and its requisite revenue allocations – to be a main talking point going into the general election on November 8, so GA voters might see some key flip-flopping on the issue.
Whether that flip-flopping will come from Abrams or Cagle or anyone else that makes it to the general election is anyone’s guess, but in the heart of NFL season, sports betting – and thus casino gaming – will surely be on lots of voters’ minds.
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