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Video gambling project appears to be dead in the water | Business

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Video gambling project appears to be dead in the water
Video gambling project appears to be dead in the water

ATLANTA -- A Georgia developer spent about 10 minutes Thursday, presenting a proposed $1 billion gambling complex to the Georgia Lottery Board. The board's chairman told 11Alive's Paul Crawley later they will not be moving forward with the project.

Johns Creek developer Dan O'Leary presented what he called an "initial introduction" to the project. He has already signed Georgia football legend Herschel Walker to open a sports bar and restaurant at the proposed site, which would also include about 7,500 video lottery terminals, a hotel, spa, theater, retail and other restaurants.

O'Leary said the project, which would be located near the intersection of Interstate 85 and Jimmy Carter Boulevard, would generate some $350 million annually for the Hope Scholarship program, and create about 2,500 jobs.

RELATED | Can video gambling save Hope?

O'Leary called the project a "silver bullet" that could save the Hope Scholarship program. He went on to insist that the project was not a casino in the traditional sense of the term, but merely an extension of lottery games. 

Before O'Leary spoke to the board, Toby Tatum with the Georgia Family Council spoke against the project, saying projects like this around the nation have increased crime, and increased other social problems in areas where they have opened.

After the meeting, Georgia Lottery Board chairman James Braswell told 11Alive's Paul Crawley that despite the belief that the board could vote on the project without formal approval from the governor or the state legislature, their opposition would keep it from being considered by the full board.

"As long as the opposition to this concept seems to be as strong as it is right now, I don't see the purpose of putting it on the agenda," he added.

Interviewed earlier at another Atlanta event Thursday, Governor Deal restated his opposition to the proposed Gwinnett County video lottery gaming complex.

"I don't favor anything that looks like a casino, and that one looks like a casino to me," Deal said.


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