Casino Embedded in “Immediate Action Needed!
Threat Percolating under the Gold Dome; Will Georgia get two casinos or six?
S.B. 79 and H.B. 158, as introduced, authorize two casinos.
S.R. 249 proposed constitutional amendment authorizes SIX!
S.R. 249, a proposed constitutional amendment dropped in the House hopper February 17th to be officially introduced February 20th, authorizes the General Assembly to license “no more than six” destination resorts (with embedded casinos) “at any given time.” Six casinos are three times the number of casinos authorized in the original versions of S.B. 79 and H.B. 158.
S.R. 249 prohibits all other forms of casino gaming, stating that the prohibition will be enforced by law. Proceeds from licensing, regulation, and taxing of casinos will be used for education after pay-outs, operating expenses, and addictive gambling prevention programs are funded.
Legalizing Casino Gambling could authorize Indian¹ Casinos in Georgia
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act is a 1988 U.S. federal law that establishes the jurisdictional framework governing Indian gaming. There was no federal gaming structure before this Act (Pub. L. 100-497, 25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.), that established the following three gaming classes:
Class I gaming is defined as (1) traditional Indian gaming, that may be part of tribal ceremonies, and celebrations, and (2) social gaming for minimal prizes. Class 1 gaming regulatory authority is vested exclusively in tribal governments.
Class II gaming is a game of chance commonly known as bingo and, if played in the same location, includes card games that are played exclusively against other players rather than against the house or a player acting as a bank. The Act specifically excludes from the definition of class II games slot machines or electronic facsimiles of any game of chance.
Class III gaming is broad. It includes all forms of gaming that are neither class I nor II. Games commonly played at casinos, such as slot machines, blackjack, craps, and roulette, clearly fall in the class III category, as well as wagering games and electronic facsimiles of any game of chance. Generally, class III is often referred to as casino-style gaming. For Indian tribes to establish and operate casinos, the following conditions must be in place:
(a) Class III gaming must be permitted in the state.
(b) The tribe and state must have negotiated a compact with approved regulatory procedures.
(c) The Tribe must have a tribal gaming ordinance approved by the commission chairman.
A 1976 U.S. Supreme Court decision was interpreted to allow states to address only “crimes and civil disputes” in tribal issues. That ruling opened the gates for the Indian gaming industry to become the most widely successful economic initiative on reservations across the country.
ACTION – OPPOSE S.B. 79 and S.R. 249. Vote expected by Thursday, February 23rd. Call Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee Senators Jeffares, Ch., 463-1376; Ginn, V-Ch., 404 656-4700; McKoon, Sec., 463-3931; Cowsert, 463-1366; Gooch, 656-9221; Harbison, 656-0074; Henson, 656-0085; Hill, 656-5038; Kennedy, 656-0045; Lucas, 656-5035; Miller, 656-7454; Mullis, 656-0057; Shafer, 656-0048; Unterman, 463-1368.
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