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Results nearly 50-50 on casino ballot question

ELECTION CENTRAL

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LAWRENCEVILLE -- When asked if they support casinos funding education in Georgia, there was no resounding answer from voters in Gwinnett or at the state level.

In Gwinnett, 49.76 said yes to the ballot question, while 50.24 percent voted no.

At the state level, 50.28 percent said yes, while 49.72 percent voted no.

In primaries, political parties often add questions to their ballots, although the results are not binding.

The ballot question was a nod to Developer Dan O'Leary's proposal to build a $1 billion gambling complex in Norcross, which would use video lottery terminals to boost state lottery funds.

While the deal is dependent on the Georgia Lottery Commission's approval of the use of video lottery terminals, O'Leary has proposed an entertainment venue along Jimmy Carter Boulevard in Norcross, with a hotel, spa and performing arts theater, anchored by a 7,500 terminal gambling floor.

A spokesperson for O'Leary declined to comment Tuesday night, saying results for the ballot question were too close to call.

In a statement earlier this month, O'Leary said the question on the GOP ballot was flawed.

It reads: "Should Georgia have casino gambling with funds going to education?" The Democratic ballot does not contain the question.

"To truly gauge public sentiment on the issue of gaming, the real question is: Are voters in favor of the Georgia Lottery expanding with (video lottery terminals) games in a single controlled environment to save the HOPE scholarship? This question gets to the heart of the issue. It's not about casinos; it's about saving HOPE," O'Leary said in the statement, referring to the HOPE Scholarship, where lottery funds are used to fund college scholarships and Pre-K programs.

Chuck Warbington, executive director of the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District, chimed in on Tuesday's results.

"What it shows me is there's not a massive opposition," Warbington said. "That's something we knew from the beginning. The next step is the state needs to look at this further."

Comments

teelee 2 years, 2 months ago

Why not just ask if you support the idea casinos period? How come the state government is the only one who can profit from gambling in the name of the children? Why should Georgian's have to drive to other states for casinos, horse racing or even good fireworks? The state of Georgia is losing millions in tax revenues. Wise up!

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TOWG 2 years, 2 months ago

I consider a 50/50 result a win for the pro-casino interests and a good thing. Let's keep the government out of it as much as possible. They just screw things up.

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kevin 2 years, 2 months ago

This vote is NOT a "yes" for casino gambling. The pundits should not be parading around town and the lottery board should not be taking this as a "yes" vote either. with online gambling a new option for the state, it is still no good for a $1billion (so they claim) brick & mortar investment for gambling. The online gambling will give the state 100% of their take to use for education, not just a little piece for the HOPE (so they claim) scholarship, only if things go well for the "Crooks in Brooks Bros. suits). This is again, just a development thing at our expenses in the long run. When it fails, and it will, what are we going to do with such a lousy looking out of place building? Waste more of our taxes on it.

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