0

Developer predicts failure of gambling question on ballot

The current OFS property as shown from above where Dan O'Leary proposed to build a mixed-used entertainment complex.

The current OFS property as shown from above where Dan O'Leary proposed to build a mixed-used entertainment complex.

LAWRENCEVILLE — A developer hoping to build a $1 billion gambling complex in Norcross said he expects a ballot question that could help his cause will fail in July.

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

The topics on the July 31 ballots statewide range from lobbyist gifts to taxes, with a nod to Dan O’Leary’s proposal to allow video lottery terminals to boost the state’s lottery funds.

But O’Leary said the question on the GOP ballot is 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 a statement, referring to the HOPE Scholarship, where lottery funds are used to fund college scholarships and Pre-K programs.

While video lottery terminals look like video slot machines, O’Leary said they are more similar to scratch-off lottery tickets and funds would go solely to the Georgia Lottery.

“Our proposal to build a mixed-used entertainment complex in Gwinnett County will bring new revenue to fully fund the HOPE scholarship and pre-kindergarten programs for many generations to come,” he said, arguing that the complex could add $350 million to the cash-strapped scholarship program each year. “This can be accomplished through a simple expansion of the existing gaming options operated by the Georgia Lottery by placing Video Lottery Terminals in a secure destination venue.”

O’Leary said he did not lobby for the question to be on ballots.

“Given that this ballot question does not accurately portray our project, we fully anticipate that the voters will vote against it,” O’Leary said.

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.

Sue Everhart, the Georgia GOP chairwoman, said the question was not designed for a specific project.

“The non-binding ballot question regarding casino gambling in Georgia is simply that: a non-binding question to gauge the interest of Georgians in the hypothetical approval of casino gambling in our state. The ballot question was submitted to the Georgia Republican Party, carefully considered before our executive committee and ultimately was approved by a vote of the full body,” she said. “Despite any individual’s vested interest in the topic of gambling throughout Georgia, our ballot question simply serves to provide an opportunity for Peach State voters to voice their opinions on this topic through a non-binding resolution.”

Comments

Don 1 year, 9 months ago

I do not think this is the right location for a venue like this. The area of JCB is one of the highest crime areas in Gwinnett, why would people want to venture here?

I would much rather see a casino located downtown that could bring in the convention vistors money.

There definately should be no tax cencessions given on this project if the vote can get though an the GA legislators approve it.

0

R 1 year, 9 months ago

This is NOT about saving HOPE at all, it’s about private enterprise making money and contributing to HOPE in the process. To try and position it ANY other way, the issue looses credibility. THERE’S a bit of a difference here UNLESS the complex is built out of the kindness of the backers hearts and NOT a penny would come back out of GA...

IF this deal is truly private business, without using FEDERAL, State or county dollars in some ingenious backdoor way… it should be considered. The space is HUGE; it’s ENCLOSED in an area that just hasn’t drawn redevelopment dollars for a LONG time and the Diverging Diamond will take away all the traffic bottlenecks!!!

There is NO other existing locations like this in “Downtown”

But perhaps the FBI hanging around in the wings here in Gwinnett may put a damper on things. It seems we’ve lost some of the trills lately.

2

kevin 1 year, 9 months ago

I agree 100%. You might also want to add the fact that the Ga. LOttery Board has NO idea how to audit such machines. The "crooks in Brooks Bros suits" know more about scamming and stealing from these machines than the Lottery Board. The State officials will need IRS and DOJ training as these are no differnet than slot machines and one-arm bandits when it comes to stealing. Electonic devices are musc easier to "reset" (when the power blinks) and to "fix" and our LOttery Board will be scape goats for the owners of this venture. NO NO No to the building of this gambling palce in Gwinnett. Let it go in Deal's backyard if they want it.

0

rco1847 1 year, 9 months ago

The real question is "Should Georgia have gambling to save the educational programs that were supported by other failed gambling and why not includ drugs and prostitution while we're at it. Education is too important to be dependent upon the whims of gambling.

1

kevin 1 year, 9 months ago

Our politicians are trying their hardest to tell us WE can solve all of Ga's problems by voting for gambling and a 10 yr transportation tax. What a joke! After 10 yrs when the tax is done, and the traffic is still here, they will blame us for the tax and projects. Hardly any of them will eliminate traffic issues. THis is just another joke on the taxpayer of this trash passes. None of those road projects are "shovel ready" either and the counties have leeway in where to spend the money. They don't advertise that part. Do you really want to trust so many politicians to pass this. Funny how they are the ones mostly promoting this tax for the sake of the developers only? This gambling facility is NOT betting that the "estimated" funds will be received for sure. It is a guess to get this thing passed. The HOPE scholarship will always be in trouble since politicians will be able to funnel the money to whereever they need or want it to go. Haven't you all had enough of these "salvation" taxes?

0

rco1847 1 year, 9 months ago

These guys sound too much like the clowns who wanted to privatize and commercialze Briscoe Field. I think they are graduates of Mafia U.

0

R 1 year, 9 months ago

Lottery did its thing, but like every other government program expanded when revenue wasn't there. Failed or overpaid bloated management and increased costs.

Briscoe depended on county coffers in the background to make it "fly" for someone anyway ...

These video terminals are everywhere now so its not really a radical introduction but to each their own.

1

CD 1 year, 9 months ago

Once Shirley is out on parole, she will need something to do; let her sit in Norcross mashing buttons on the video lottery machine.

Briefcases chock full everywhere. The cartel would be pleased.

0

Sign in to comment