MP Ron Stephens is back. The Republican of Savannah passed another resolution in the Georgia General Assembly designed to lay the foundation for casinos in Peach State.
Legislators must first approve House Resolution 30. Your approval would pass the issue on to voters who would decide whether to amend the state constitution to allow casinos in Georgia.
COVID-19 and its malicious crafting for the economy could make such a prospect alluring to lawmakers in the House and Senate this time around. Casinos, argues Stephens, would generate a royal fortune for the treasury and revive the ailing revenue.
One of the main concerns is location. Where would casino resorts be built? In whose backyard?
There was a time when the focus was on Jekyll Island. Supporters viewed the state-owned island as an ideal choice. Fortunately, the movement stopped.
That is not to say that Jekyll Island would no longer be considered in the future, and what a terrible mistake that would be. Recent developments on the island with its beach facilities, golf courses, and miles of bike and hiking trails make Jekyll an excellent destination for individuals and families who feel the urge to get out of the rat race, if only briefly.
A casino would ruin that. A gambling resort would completely change the character of the island. If you have any doubts, just visit Cherokee, NC. It’s not the same family attraction as it was before a casino arrived.
Other potential casino locations would be almost anywhere along Interstate 95. The Kilagee Indians saw the value of opening one along the popular, well-traveled route to Florida. It just makes sense that others would too.
Of course, there will be those who point out that tourists would still flock to Jekyll Island if a casino were to gain a foothold there. You’re right. But it would not be individuals and families who want to escape the pressures of everyday life.
It’s hard to argue that voters can decide if it’s time to open the door to the casinos. It is not often that citizens are given the opportunity to directly determine the fate of proposed changes or additions to state law. They just have to know what they want for or about fellow citizens.
Members of the Glynn County’s State Delegation should do everything in their power to keep Jekyll Island and other areas where individuals and families safely gather and vacation away from the casinos today. Promises are nice, but in writing.