by: Tom Jones Updated:ATLANTA —
Atlanta business owners say gambling is an everyday occurrence and they are calling on the city to do more to stop illegal activity along the streetcar route..
Eric Groh said problem gambling affects families, hospitals and businesses.
"As gambling occurs around the area it's going to drive business away," he told Channel 2s Tom Jones.
The owner of Wok N’ Roll, a Chinese eatery, says the gambling and drug dealing are certainly doing just that.
"I often call police but police come and everybody goes, she said."
The Georgia Council Problem Gambling passed out information along Auburn Avenue on Wednesday.
Janis Perkins said she is very concerned about the gambling and other crimes that chase customers away.
She said she sent a copy of a video of men gambling outside two properties she manages to the mayor's office.
"It's horrible for the tourists to see," Perkins said.
She said tourists shouldn't have to see people gambling and drug dealing, especially with the new streetcar coming through. Perkins thinks the area needs more police and more cameras.
"We need surveillance. Even the ambassadors don't come down here anymore. We need police protection," she said.
Atlanta police sent this statement in response to the business community's concerns:
"The Atlanta Police Department's #1 mission is to reduce crime in the City of Atlanta. We recognize that the area in the Auburn Ave corridor is undergoing a remarkable transformation with the addition of the Atlanta streetcar. APD will continue to have a strong presence in the area through community engagement with our foot beat officers and proactive enforcement. We encourage the community to partner with us and report any suspicious activity or join a neighborhood watch."
The Georgia Council on Problem Gambling urges anyone who needs help to call 888-236-4848.