February 24, 2017
A possible casino could be developed in Georgia by the United Keetooway Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma. The tribe is considering property that is in Cherokee County near Ball Ground. The town has close to 1,400 people living there.
The state currently does not allow for betting or casino gaming. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced on Thursday that he is not supporting the proposed project. However if the casino is developed on tribal land, then the law cannot prevent the casino from being opened.
State legislation is being proposed that would allow for casino gaming at destination resorts in Atlanta, and another location in Savannah, Augusta or Columbus
To allow for gaming to take place, the proposed legislation must be approved by two thirds votes by the state Senate and House of Representatives. The approval would change the Georgia state constitution to allow for casino gaming. Then counties would need to change referendums to decide if casinos could be built there.
The change could take up to 7 years.
If the tribes decides to build a casino on tribal owned land, this could expedite the process. However, the land would need to be placed in to federal trust for the tribe first. That process could also take many years.
The proposed legislation also will tax casinos 20 percent. The average casino tax across the country is 12 percent.