In the first eight days of Georgia’s 2017 state legislative session, three bills have been introduced that will expand predatory gambling in Georgia, if passed. CWA of Georgia is lobbying aggressively on your behalf to stop the bills in their tracks. Your voice is vitally important to the success of stopping the expansion of gambling in the state. See our action alerts and call for prayer below.
The First Two Bills: Casino Gambling
The threat of state-sponsored predatory gambling via casinos is once again knocking at our door in Georgia. Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta) and Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) have filed their respective casino bills. SB 79 and HB 158, both named the “Destination Resort Act”, would allow up to two resort-style casinos to operate in Georgia under the governance of a newly created Georgia Gaming Commission.
You will pay even if you don’t play.
Consider the social costs of gambling addictions obtained from the Georgia State University Problem Gambling Research & Intervention Project:
- Bankruptcy – 20-30 percent of gambling addicts have declared bankruptcy, compared to 4.2 percent of low-risk gamblers and non-gamblers. The average cost to creditors per personal bankruptcy is $39,000.
- Debt/Spending patterns – 90 percent of gambling addicts gamble with their paychecks or family savings, and 30 percent reported gambling debts ranging from $75,000–$150,000.
- Correctional costs – The estimated lifetime correctional costs of gambling addicts in Georgia is $249,159,000.
- Costs of property crimes related to gambling – The average amount stolen per person who reported stealing (money and/or property) is $135,000.
- Work related costs – The estimated cost to employers from gambling related absences is $45 million.
Georgia cannot afford casinos – neither economically nor socially.
Status on HB 158: HB 158 has been assigned to the House Regulated Industries Committee. No hearing date has been set for the bill. Action item: call your state representative and ask him or her to oppose HB 158 if it comes up for a vote. Click here to find your state representative.
Status on SB 79: SB 79 was heard in the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee on Thursday, February 9, 2017 but not vote was taken. The bill will be heard again on Thursday, February 23. Action item: If you have contacted the members of the Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee, please contact them again and urge them to OPPOSE SB 79, the casino bill. In addition, contact your state senator and urge him or her to oppose SB 79. Click here to find your state senator.
Sen. Butch Miller (R-Gainesville) (404) 656-7454 email@example.com
Sen. Frank Ginn (R-Danielsville) (404) 656-4700 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) (404) 463-1368 Renee.Unterman@senate.ga.gov
Sen. Jack Hill (R-Reidsville) (404) 656-5038 email@example.com
Sen. Bill Coswert (R-Athens) (404) 463-1366 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) (404) 463-3931 email@example.com
Sen. David Shafer (R-Duluth) (404) 656-0048 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Rick Jeffares (R-McDonough) (404) 463-1376 email@example.com
Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega) (404) 656-9221 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga) (404) 656-0057 email@example.com
Sen. John Kennedy (R-Macon) (404) 656-0045 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Ed Harbison (D-Columbus) (404) 656-0074 email@example.com
Sen. Steve Henson (D-Tucker) (404) 656-0085 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. David Lucas (D-Macon) (404) 656-5035 David.Lucas@senate.ga.gov
Download these resources and educate others on why casinos are bad for Georgia.
- CWA of Georgia’s predatory gambling talking points
- 2017 Stop Predatory Gambling Georgia Brief on Casinos
- Tribal Casino Fact Sheet
Pray that the hearts of the representatives be softened toward righteousness and that they seek God’s wisdom and guidance on the issues that greatly impact Georgians and their families.
Thank you for your faithful prayers and action. They make all the difference.