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Old 01-17-2020, 01:51 AM
 
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One thing that seems to keep getting overlooked in this ongoing debate about the potential legalization of gaming (gambling) in Georgia is online gaming.

People are already engaging in gaming (including online gaming and sports betting) in Georgia.

It's just that because gaming is not legal here that Georgia state government is not getting the public's cut of the amount that is already being spent on online gaming and sports betting.

(… Which because of an earlier round of very ill-advised election-year state income tax cutting in 2018 and another likely round of even more very ill-advised election-year state income tax cutting in 2020, Georgia state government suddenly finds itself in dire fiscal straits even though the economy appears to still be in decent shape.)

Probably because of the influence and domination of the conversation about gambling by casino lobbyists, there seems to be too much of a fixation on developing casinos at the expense of online gaming and online sports betting which can also be very lucrative because people can conveniently gamble on their phones from anywhere without needing to drive to a casino.

Another factor standing in the way of both casino and online gaming being legalized this year (and probably in the foreseeable future) in Georgia is the continued strong influence of religious conservatives in state politics.

Virginia Galloway of the Faith and Freedom Coalition has pledged to "fight to the death" any proposals to legalize gaming in Georgia... And Georgia legislators are scared and deathly that supporting the legalization of gaming in the state is an issue that could greatly harm and/or even end their political careers in a Presidential election year when all 236 seats Georgia state legislative sears are up for election and in a year that religious conservatives are expected to be more energized than probably at anytime in the history of the Republic.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:11 AM
bu2
 
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Originally Posted by ATL Golfer View Post
This.

It would be a place where welfare checks are lost. It would be one of the more depressing places on earth.

We already have the lottery which steals from the poor to pay for rich families to send their kids to Athens.

All in for poker rooms though.
Yeah. I really don't want it.

It would encourage gambling addiction. Let other states do it.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:22 AM
 
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What matters is if the casino is meeting the demands of it customer base.
What I would say is the customer base of metro Atlanta would likely demand a casino that would not be a net positive for our area.

The only way to get to net positive would be a casino that is designed, built and continually operated to serve demands that are highly aspirational for our customer base. Since that wouldn't make business sense, any casino we would get would either be designed as a much less than luxury establishment... or it would quickly turn that way in a few years, leaving us with a conundrum.

If you really want to gamble, tickets to Vegas are cheap. Just add it to what you're going to lose anyway.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:26 PM
bu2
 
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Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
What I would say is the customer base of metro Atlanta would likely demand a casino that would not be a net positive for our area.

The only way to get to net positive would be a casino that is designed, built and continually operated to serve demands that are highly aspirational for our customer base. Since that wouldn't make business sense, any casino we would get would either be designed as a much less than luxury establishment... or it would quickly turn that way in a few years, leaving us with a conundrum.

If you really want to gamble, tickets to Vegas are cheap. Just add it to what you're going to lose anyway.
There's an Indian casino in Alabama. Don't need to go all the way to Vegas. Think there are several other Indian casinos in neighboring states.
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
One thing that seems to keep getting overlooked in this ongoing debate about the potential legalization of gaming (gambling) in Georgia is online gaming.
People who gamble online with a sports book overseas will probably not be inclined to have their winnings taxed all of the sudden. 1st you got to beat the odds. Then you have to beat government's take.

Savvy gamblers will continue to bet where their winnings will not be taxed. That is not to say people won't use the legit gambling avenues.
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Old 01-17-2020, 06:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ATL Golfer View Post
People who gamble online with a sports book overseas will probably not be inclined to have their winnings taxed all of the sudden. 1st you got to beat the odds. Then you have to beat government's take.

Savvy gamblers will continue to bet where their winnings will not be taxed. That is not to say people won't use the legit gambling avenues.
I don't know if I would discount the popularity of online gaming/mobile sports betting.

The decidedly deep-red state of Indiana (a state just as conservative and as deep-red as Georgia) just recently legalized online gaming/mobile sports betting and it appears to have been really popular to the point that the big online gaming websites are plastering Indiana's airwaves with non-stop advertisements (including half-hour long informercials). Billboards have also popped up all over the state with ads for online gaming along the state's busiest roadways.

Online gaming and mobile sports betting has been so popular in Indiana that more than $436 million in bets were wagered in only 4 months.
Quote:
The money shelled out on sports bets in Indiana during the state's four months of legal gambling was more than the advertising revenue raked in for the Super Bowl.

It was enough to match the net worth of LeBron James, buy 110 million Popeyes chicken sandwiches or snag the most expensive painting in the world, Leonardo Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi.
"Indiana's sports betting obsession: Gamblers wagered $436 million in 4 months" (The Indianapolis Star)


Indiana state government is also on track to generate $11 million annually in revenues from online/mobile sports betting taxes. The positive fiscal results for Indiana's state government are something that seems to have inspired the state government of neighboring super deep-red Kentucky to take a serious look at legalizing online gaming/mobile sports betting there.
Quote:
An updated fiscal analysis by consultant group Commonwealth Economics estimated HB 137 would create annual revenue of $22.5 million for Kentucky from sports wagering alone. The group's study from 2019 had that figure as $20 million, but Koenig indicated the increase was because the new version of the bill allows bets on in-state sporting events.

The study showed Indiana is on pace to generate more than $11 million in annual tax revenue from sports betting, but Commonwealth Economics founder John Farris told the committee that Kentucky's bill was unique in its ability to tap into online wagering revenue.
"Kentucky sports betting bill passes out of House committee by unanimous vote" (Louisville Courier-Journal)

Keep in mind that Indiana is a state with a population (6.7 million) that is only about 63% of the size of Georgia's population (10.6 million), and that Indiana's state economy (roughly $372 million in 2018) is only about 62% of the size of Georgia's economy (roughly $602 million in 2018).

So Georgia would be viewed as being a much more lucrative market for online gaming and mobile sports betting than less populous states like Indiana and Kentucky.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:09 PM
 
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The customer that is living paycheck to paycheck or on government assistance exists but they are spending money they don't have already on lottery tickets and big cell phone plans and TV's and streaming services etc. But the facts are they won't be the customer base of an Atlanta casino. Hopefully they will be an employee of the many service related jobs.

Vegas style casinos don't have the best payout ratio on their machines but they don't have to because that is not the major driver of their customer. The low end player that you refer to above is motivated by cash back on their play which they won't get as easy here and would still opt to drive to Alabama or North Caroline.

I am in a rural area that does not have the best economics and I think the household income of our typical customer is still 40,000-50,000 which is representative of the area.

An Atlanta casino will be very attractive to the convention customer who is there for entertainment. They want the free drinks, the great entertainment, etc. in exchange they have lower expectations of payout at the machine. They want a great venue that is walking distance from GWCC, MBS and the area hotels.

An Atlanta casino is also going to attract many of the professionals and executives that are already making gaming trips to Las Vegas or Biloxi or Atlantic City. This player likes the complimentary meals, hotel rooms or concert tickets they are offered. Again, there is a trade off in payout at the machine.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:23 PM
 
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It's really fascinating to have someone in the industry chime in on this discussion.

I always thought Vegas casinos on the strip had some of the better payout ratios because the Nevada Gaming Commission keeps such tight control over everything. They definitely have much better payouts than machines I've played in other countries, and on cruise ships. I certainly would hope Georgia would maintain tight control over payout ratios, but our lawmakers are so easily bought, I'm sure it wouldn't.

I'd also think wealthier and more sophisticated gamers, like the convention customers you describe, would demand higher ratios. More intelligent gamers will quickly figure out when a machine isn't paying out well and determine it's a losing battle. I've always been shocked by low payout machines. In my mind, if you're doing 50 line $2 spins, the machine ought to have a payout on almost every spin, even if it's only 5 cents. Just that little ding that gives you a tiny dopamine hit instead of giving nothing. I immediately walk away from any machine that continually pays out nothing. Not because I realize it's not going to make me rich, which I already know walking in... but because it's simply not fun.

I would also say you may be able to get away with slightly lower payouts if you have great licensed machines. If I'm sitting at a Game of Thrones or Wizard of Oz slot and the seat is vibrating with rumbling bass and the dragons are spitting fire with every spin, I'm a lot more forgiving of not getting a payout than on a simple machine that mainly has graphics of numbers and playing cards.

One potential idea is I believe Atlanta is one of the most successful markets for Cirque du Soleil. If an Atlanta casino could attract a permanent show, or a theater that features rotating cirque shows, that would do a lot for the casino. It would really need something permanent to attract high-end customers in addition to the degens that would also most definitely hang out an an Atlanta casino.

Last edited by ATLTJL; 01-17-2020 at 09:31 PM..
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
I don't know if I would discount the popularity of online gaming/mobile sports betting.
I don't. It will definitely drive tax revenue. There will be hordes of people on the platform. But I think the guy with a bookie already or an offshore acct is going to stay put to avoid taxes.

They are already making bets at odds of -105, -110, -115 on a typical sports bet....trying to overcome that and taxes altogether to scrape out positive year would be extremely difficult.
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:41 AM
 
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Default Clear majorities of voters favor legalized casino gambling, sports betting in new AJC poll

According to the results of a statewide poll released on Friday by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, most voters support legalizing casino gambling and sports betting in the state of Georgia.

Quote:
About 64% of voters surveyed said they’re in favor of allowing casino gambling in Georgia. That’s slightly up from 62% of voters polled in 2016, the last time the AJC questioned voters about casinos. And 57% of respondents said they back legalized betting on professional sporting events, according to the AJC poll.
AJC poll: Voters back casinos and sports gambling in Georgia (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
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