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Georgia Gov. to support casino bill if lottery not impacted

Jan 24, 2017, 12:59 pm

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Georgia LotteryGeorgia Lottery: Georgia Gov. to support casino bill if lottery not impactedRating:

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said Tuesday he won't oppose legislation that would legalize casino gambling as long as it doesn't "devastate" the state's popular lottery-funded HOPE scholarship program.

"We need to be absolutely certain that if a casino bill passes, it doesn't adversely impact a lottery program for the state," he said. "That is the first big marker – to make sure that we don't devastate what is probably perceived as the most successful lottery program in the country."

The governor's comments on Tuesday come as pro-gambling lawmakers are set to introduce legislation that would allow casinos in Atlanta and several other cities. The proposal will include a needs-based college scholarship to try to win over Democratic support.

Since the measure is a constitutional amendment, it wouldn't require the governor's signature — instead it needs two-thirds support in the Legislature and approval by a majority of voters. But Deal's opposition last year was a stinging blow to casino advocates.

He said then that the gambling industry would have to agree to a significantly higher tax rate than the 12 percent proposed in a previous version of the legislation, urging them to put between 24 to 35 percent of their gross revenue into education.

"I don't think we're going to see any of them take us up on the offer," he said then.

This year's legislation would tax gambling "resorts" at 20 percent and would create a new gaming commission modeled after Nevada's panel that would issue two gambling licenses — one in Atlanta that requires a $2 billion investment and another elsewhere in the state calling for $450 million.

Casino advocates pointed on Tuesday to a recently-released study by the University of Massachusetts that found statewide lottery sales increased last year by about 23 percent in the city of Plainville, where a new slot parlor opened in June 2015.

The governor on Tuesday said he has a "preferable route" for this year's proposal, but wouldn't specify what that is. He did, however, outline to broader ways for lawmakers to earn his support.

The first involves the Democratic-backed proposal to require at least 30 percent of the casino revenue to fund needs-based scholarships. Deal said he wanted to see more money dedicated to the REACH program, a needs-based program that rewards high-performing middle school students.

"It's already a needs-based program we have in place," he said.

And secondly, he supports limits on how many casinos could operate in Georgia.

"It's just common sense to say the more casinos you have, the more it could impact the lottery program itself," he said.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

AJC, Lottery Post Staff

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6 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by LottoYear.
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United States
Member #179440
January 19, 2017
66 Posts
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Posted: January 24, 2017, 2:37 pm - IP Logged

"We need to be absolutely certain that if a casino bill passes, it doesn't adversely impact a lottery program for the state,"

Well, of course casinos will adversely affect the lottery.  Gambling operates under the Pareto Principle; 20% percent of the players account for 80% of the revenues.  Some of that 20% is going to abandon the lottery for casinos which can offer the skilled player better odds and a higher percentage of payouts.

It is not hard to see how Plainville's lottery sales went up 23%.  Plainville, MA only has a population of 8264 and the only slots parlor in the state, Plainridge Park Casino.  According to the Boston Globe last year, profits "have not lived up to expectations". 

Alabama doesn't have a state lottery, so a lot of their citizens have to go to Georgia to buy tickets.  However, there is a bill making the rounds in Alabama to start a lottery and Alabama already has casinos.

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    Chattanooga, TN
    United States
    Member #74192
    May 5, 2009
    98 Posts
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    Posted: January 25, 2017, 11:27 am - IP Logged

    Why don't they just set aside funds from the casino profits for Education? Seems easy enough... but we are talking about government here.

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      Simpsonville
      United States
      Member #163184
      January 22, 2015
      2197 Posts
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      Posted: January 26, 2017, 10:20 am - IP Logged

      "We need to be absolutely certain that if a casino bill passes, it doesn't adversely impact a lottery program for the state,"

      Well, of course casinos will adversely affect the lottery.  Gambling operates under the Pareto Principle; 20% percent of the players account for 80% of the revenues.  Some of that 20% is going to abandon the lottery for casinos which can offer the skilled player better odds and a higher percentage of payouts.

      It is not hard to see how Plainville's lottery sales went up 23%.  Plainville, MA only has a population of 8264 and the only slots parlor in the state, Plainridge Park Casino.  According to the Boston Globe last year, profits "have not lived up to expectations". 

      Alabama doesn't have a state lottery, so a lot of their citizens have to go to Georgia to buy tickets.  However, there is a bill making the rounds in Alabama to start a lottery and Alabama already has casinos.

      Re-read the article.  It said STATEWIDE lottery sales increased 23% since Plainville Casino opened.  Ironically, when I visited there, a lottery machine was stashed mostly out of sight by the elevator.  Massachusetts lottery sales increase IMO because they are very aggressive and a very good lottery.  I read somewhere it is the top in the nation.  Of course I'm partial being it is my home state, not Kentucky, and they do have the best subscription service out of ALL lotteries.  You cannot beat seven weeks free on all of them.  Maybe your Prez will legalize lottery sales across state lines via phone or Internet.  LOL on that one.

       

      As for Georgia, if they do build casinos they should do what Mohegan Sun in Connecticut did--have lottery sales inside the shopping area in several stores.  That keeps people on the property.  Also go for big names like Caesars, MGM, Wynn etc, then you can have wide area Progressives I believe they are called.

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        United States
        Member #179440
        January 19, 2017
        66 Posts
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        Posted: January 26, 2017, 3:00 pm - IP Logged

        Re-read the article.  It said STATEWIDE lottery sales increased 23% since Plainville Casino opened.  Ironically, when I visited there, a lottery machine was stashed mostly out of sight by the elevator.  Massachusetts lottery sales increase IMO because they are very aggressive and a very good lottery.  I read somewhere it is the top in the nation.  Of course I'm partial being it is my home state, not Kentucky, and they do have the best subscription service out of ALL lotteries.  You cannot beat seven weeks free on all of them.  Maybe your Prez will legalize lottery sales across state lines via phone or Internet.  LOL on that one.

         

        As for Georgia, if they do build casinos they should do what Mohegan Sun in Connecticut did--have lottery sales inside the shopping area in several stores.  That keeps people on the property.  Also go for big names like Caesars, MGM, Wynn etc, then you can have wide area Progressives I believe they are called.

        I’m correct.  I re-read several times before posting.  The article says, “...statewide lottery sales increased last year by about 23 percent in the city of Plainville, where a new slot parlor opened in June 2015”.  Lottery tickets didn’t have to be purchased at the casino.  In a small town of 8300, new casino visitors buying tickets when they stop for gas would be enough to increase sales by 23%.

         

        I also looked at Massachusetts state sales, which increased by 5% not 23%.   The lottery’s fiscal year 2016 started July 1, 2015 and ended June 30, 2016.   (Remember, the slots parlor opened in June, 2015).  Sales for fiscal year 2016 were only 8% higher than fiscal year 2014.

         

        Fiscal year 2016 sales $5.231 billion

        Fiscal year 2015 sales $5.014 billion

        Fiscal year 2014 sales $4.863 billion

         

        (I'm too new to post links, but I got the figures by searching "Massachusetts lottery fiscal year sales" plus the year.)

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          Simpsonville
          United States
          Member #163184
          January 22, 2015
          2197 Posts
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          Posted: January 27, 2017, 6:34 am - IP Logged

          You are correct; however the wording makes no sense.  It said STATEWIDE sales went up in the city of Plainville.  Don't you think it should have said 23% in lottery sales in Plainville?  Maybe they meant to say state lottery officials....etc???

          Maybe things have changed back home, but growing up we were all towns unless the population was 50K or greater. (Holliston).

          Anyway time for Arizona to win the big win, don't you think?  Have a good one fellow LP poster!!

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            United States
            Member #179440
            January 19, 2017
            66 Posts
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            Posted: January 27, 2017, 12:14 pm - IP Logged

            You are correct; however the wording makes no sense.  It said STATEWIDE sales went up in the city of Plainville.  Don't you think it should have said 23% in lottery sales in Plainville?  Maybe they meant to say state lottery officials....etc???

            Maybe things have changed back home, but growing up we were all towns unless the population was 50K or greater. (Holliston).

            Anyway time for Arizona to win the big win, don't you think?  Have a good one fellow LP poster!!

            The statement is confusing on purpose because it was made by casino advocates.  It is in the interest of the casino industry to pretend that the state can add casino games and increase lottery sales at the same time, which of course isn't true.