Your voice made the difference! Thank you! We are cautiously optimistic that the effort to pass casino legislation in 2017 has failed. There are still fourteen days left in the legislative session, and you can be assured that CWA of Georgia will be keeping our eyes open for legislative maneuvering to move the casino legislation forward.
SB 79, the casino bill, is no longer on the Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee hearing agenda for this coming Monday, February 27. Let’s keep it that way! The bill sponsor, Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta), is trying to modify the bill enough to persuade senators to support the bill. Read all about the “goodies” here.
Will you make a few phone calls before noon on Monday, February 27, and urge these senators to vote “NO” on SB 79 should the bill be added to the Committee’s agenda on Monday, February 27?
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. 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 protected]
Sen. Frank Ginn (R-Danielsville) (404) 656-4700 [email protected]
Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) (404) 463-1368 [email protected]
Sen. Jack Hill (R-Reidsville) (404) 656-5038 [email protected]
Sen. Bill Coswert (R-Athens) (404) 463-1366 [email protected]
Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) (404) 463-3931 [email protected]
Sen. David Shafer (R-Duluth) (404) 656-0048 [email protected]
Sen. Rick Jeffares (R-McDonough) (404) 463-1376 [email protected]
Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega) (404) 656-9221 [email protected]
Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga) (404) 656-0057 [email protected]
Sen. John Kennedy (R-Macon) (404) 656-0045 [email protected]
Sen. Ed Harbison (D-Columbus) (404) 656-0074 [email protected]
Sen. Steve Henson (D-Tucker) (404) 656-0085 [email protected]
Sen. David Lucas (D-Macon) (404) 656-5035 [email protected]
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.