Casinos Will Pay Extra Taxes If Allowed To Operate in Georgia
When Georgia announced that it was debating the possibility of amending its gambling laws to allow casinos to function in the state, some of the top U.S casino brands immediately reached out to legislators in Georgia to announce that they would be very interested in establishing casinos in Atlanta.
The state gaming association is considering offering up to six casino licenses that will permit casinos to operate in the regions of Macon, Columbus, South Georgia, Savannah and Atlanta.
Las Vegas Sands and MGM Resorts International who are also building a casino in Springfield Massachusetts have already announced their intentions of investing heavily into Georgia and wanted to be first in line to receive a license. Atlanta is currently the number one location that these casinos want to target and MGM has already committed to constructing a mega-casino resort that would be around $1 billion and create over 3,500 full time jobs in Atlanta.
However there has been opposition to this proposal of legalizing casinos in Georgia as many believe that it would bring more harm than good. One of the main opponents to the legalization of casinos in Georgia is Gov. Nathan Deal. In a statement, Deal said
I will make my position very clear to the members of the General Assembly. And I would hope they would recognize that we have so many good things going for us in the state of Georgia. This is not something I view as positive. I do not think it improves the quality of life for our citizens. And in my opinion it has very little redeeming value.
Deal would also go on to say that he would be open to having casinos in Georgia if they were willing to pay a higher tax rate so that Georgia can use the additional funds to invest into its education system. Casinos are currently required to pay 12 percent in taxes but Deal wants them to pay around 24 to 35 percent of their gross revenue just like the Georgia Lottery does. The governor is confident that the casinos will not agree to this proposal and hence will continue to oppose the idea.
The casinos are eager to get into Georgia and want to do their best to overcome all the challenges thrown at them and appear to have agreed to meet Deal’s proposition to some extent. Casinos are willing to pay up to 20 percent on gross revenue as they want a part of the untouched Georgia market.