Governor opposed to plan for entertainment venue with video lottery terminals

by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:

Vacant lot proposed for Gwinnett entertainment venue.

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga.,None - A developer claims a new entertainment complex will create thousands of jobs and says its video gambling floor will raise millions for the HOPE scholarship.

But Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh found out the plan is facing opposition from the governor's office, saying he doesn't support any new gambling in Georgia.

Others told Kavanaugh they have the land, an empty building to be put to use and believe the plan deserves a solid look.

The proposed plot is a 100-plus-acre site with an empty factory on a mostly empty lot between Jimmy Carter Boulevard and Interstate 85

A local developer hopes it will soon be the site of a major entertainment complex.

"The far side of this area they have planned to be destination gaming," Chuck Warbington of the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District said.

Warbington said he has been working to develop this land for years.

"It would have a major impact on this community," Warbington said.

Developer Dan O'Leary's claims the project will represent a $400 million investment to Gwinnett County, raise $350 million annually for the HOPE scholarship, add 2,500 permanent jobs, plus 1,000 construction jobs.


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The complex is designed to have an entire floor with 7,500 video lottery terminals. That could make it dead on arrival.

Kavanaugh asked Gov. Nathan Deal for his reaction on the proposed project.

His office sent a statement saying, "The governor opposes any expansion of gambling in Georgia. Last year, we launched a GBI operation to shut down video parlor sweepstakes businesses around the state that were illegal."

"The destination gaming piece is only one piece that's what we've been told," Warbington said.

The plan also calls for a five-star hotel, performance venue, restaurants and retail space.

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners is willing to give this plan strong consideration.

The Board of Commissioners chairman was traveling Wednesday but sent Kavanaugh a statement saying anything that could boost the economy is worth consideration.


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