MCCULLOUGH: Mr. O'Leary's cash cow

Nate McCullough

Nate McCullough

Well, this will upset the sin police, the people who think we shouldn’t build anything, anywhere, ever and probably my momma, but I’m going to write it anyway.

Not only should Gwinnett County let Dan O'Leary build his gambling center, it should fast-track it.

First of all, what else are you going to put on that piece of land? Another factory? Nope, sorry. We get all our stuff from China. Another mall? Gwinnett is all full-up on those. A stadium? Got one. Arena? Got one of those, too.

So why not this gaming complex? Why not build something that people will definitely use, that will provide a shot in the arm not only for Gwinnett Village and the county as a whole, but might help save the HOPE scholarship?

Oh, I know the refrain. It'll bring sinners and crime. It's a tax on the poor.

As far as the sin and the tax, I guess it would be too much to ask to just let people gamble if they want, and those who don't want to gamble could, I don't know, stay home. It'd also be too much to ask that people take responsibility for their actions and gamble in moderation. If people gamble away the rent money, well, I guess we know why they're poor, don't we?

And is anyone under the illusion that the area doesn't already have its fair share of crime? Surely a casino is not going to make Gwinnett's rate of triple homicides go up any higher than it already is.

My only complaint with this proposal is it doesn't go far enough. Take it a step further and make it a full-fledged casino. Cozy up to the right lawmakers and get it done.

The baby step O'Leary wants the state to take with these video lottery machines will be enough gambling to be big news in the pews, but you're only going to draw so many of O'Leary's envisioned high-end clientele with lottery machines. But put some table games, a poker room, slots and shows and watch the folks roll in.

Yes, most will roll out empty. That's the point. Casinos are built on losers. And if the government can siphon off some of those losses, then maybe it won't siphon so much from everyone else.

OK, that last sentence was crazy talk. But I just can't see a reason why this shouldn't be done. Why watch gambling dollars drive off to Biloxi or Cherokee when you could watch them drive in?

Maybe they would use the HOT lanes to get here. Better yet, they could fly in to Briscoe Field.

After writing that last paragraph, I think I was wrong in the lead to this column.

It'll probably upset everybody.

Email Nate McCullough at nate.mccullough@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Fridays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/natemccullough.


Say_that_again 3 years, 6 months ago

Nate, You need to get President Obama to come out against it then every single Republican will side with you and it would get the fast track here in Georgia. To prove my point, look at the Blunt amendment that would have allowed Scientology advocates to deny coverage of to treat mental problems such as depression or bi-polar. Then Christian Scientists would not even be required to provide insurance at all since they do not believe in doctors. The bill would even allow any claim of moral objection by an employer to prevent standard coverage. Any reasonable thinking person would see the Blunt Amendment as an absurd violation of workers rights, bu the Republicans (except for one retiring moderate) had to vote for it because Obama was against it. Now you only need to get Obama on record, or just make the Republicans think he is against the gambling mecca, ant they will process it as fast as possible!


Karl 3 years, 6 months ago

Nate, great article and I agree 100%. Thanks for putting your reasoned thoughts on the matter out to the public.

If only more folks thought like you and I.


R 3 years, 6 months ago

Seriously let’s do the 1 Billion deal, as long as it’s all O’Leary money and the county doesn’t end up somehow leasing the facility to him. In Atlantic City NJ, the casinos provide the shuttle buses from the airport themselves. Do that here and we just have to sell them Peach Passes NO LIGHT RAIL required!!
I think its private property now right? That way, on the slim, outside chance things go belly up, the CID would start marketing the factory building again … No Fuss No Muss. No noise abatements, no possible house purchasing and “settlements” hasn’t Gwinnett seen enough of those lately? Could you just see the BOC setting gaming machine specifications? ARGHHHHH!

As you keenly pointed out, Gwinnett County already has enough entertainment venues it’s on the hook for and doesn’t to add one more, even though the Falcons are looking for a home…

Now spruce up the General Aviation operation at Briscoe with the ability to offer customs services for our International friends with small jets? Go for it! Make it trendy for likes of Trump and his jet setter fleet friends, Go for it! However, make it a haven for the Regional Baniffs of the world (Bonus points to anyone who flew them), NOT so much - IF tax dollars may have to be used to “prop” up commercial service operations down the road.

TOTALLY PRIVATE DEAL vs. GOVERNMENT ownership, just a small bit of difference THAT really makes all the difference. Who's taking odds?


kevin 3 years, 6 months ago

sorry buddy, but this venture will be a big mistake for our county. The space would be better served with a race track if you allow gambling there. Same old crooks disgused in Brooks Bros. suits. Don't expect them to fund the HOPE scholarship progrom up to the amounts you all are bragging about.


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