Casinos in Georgia could be burden on local governments, study says

January 12,2017

Source: J. Scott Trubey and Aaron Gould Sheinin, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Casino gambling could give state tax revenue a giant boost, but it would also generate new public safety, infrastructure and social costs for cities and counties, a study commissioned by a downtown Atlanta business group says.

Central Atlanta Progress leaders on Wednesday presented the second of a two-part study on the potential effect of legalized casinos, a topic that could be fiercely debated again during this year’s legislative session.

The debate so far has centered on the potential tax revenue benefits for state education programs and job creation.

But the brunt of the public costs of casinos — including road improvements, policing, social assistance for problem gamblers and other issues — will be shouldered by local governments, CAP President A.J. Robinson said during a meeting with editors and reporters of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The report reiterated findings released last June that, while casinos will likely be a tax revenue driver, they could cannibalize spending that might have gone to nearby restaurants, museums or concert halls and in turn undercut other state and local tax collections.

If that happens, local governments could lose out unless there is sufficient local revenue sharing, he said."

Read the complete article at the link above.