ATLANTA - The Georgia Republican Party came out with a resolution this weekend officially opposing casino gambling. But one Republican lawmaker says he will try and push a gambling bill through the legislature anyway.
Alpharetta State Sen. Brandon Beach is a big supporter of what he calls destination resorts, which would include casino gambling.
He couldn’t get a law passed last year, but he is promising to try it again, even with his own party’s opposition.
Bud Griffy is a self-described proud Republican who says he doesn’t see anything wrong with a casino in Georgia.
“I think it’s fine. I don’t see anything wrong with it. It brings in money to the state or the area and so forth, and you like a little entertainment every once in a while, so why not?” Griffy told Channel 2’s Richard Elliot.
The Georgia Republican Convention has a list of reasons why not. In a resolution passed over the weekend, the state GOP asked lawmakers to “cease and desist with any efforts to open the state of Georgia to casino and horse racing gambling.”
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They cite a list of reasons, including higher divorce rates, more crime and higher taxes to pay for things like the treatment of gambling addictions.
“First ... I have the utmost respect for the Republican Party and the state committee,” Beach said.
Beach’s bill would require a minimum $2 billion private investment for the two resorts and would include a 20 percent tax rate on them, all of which, he believes would go to the HOPE scholarship and rural health care.
He thinks the bill should pass and the voters should decide.
"There’s nothing more conservative or more Republican than letting the voters have a say at the ballot box and vote on an issue," he said.
The destination resort bill will be back before lawmakers next January, but without Republican support, it will be an uphill climb to get it passed.
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