WHEREAS, gambling is no longer an activity condemned by government officials because state governments had helped to transform this stigma by openly promoting various forms of state gambling such as lotteries and numbers games; and
WHEREAS, in some parts of the country, gambling has been embraced and promoted as a legitimate strategy of economic development; for instance, lotteries, racetracks, casinos, and electronic games can provide government coffers with funding to support for government programs; and
WHEREAS, proponents of gambling believe that it promotes job creation and revenue generation, improve local economies, and provides a funding mechanism for educational opportunities from pre-kindergarten through college; and
WHEREAS, gambling is currently prohibited in the State of Georgia; however, the Georgia Lottery, which is a form of gambling, is allowed, see OCGA § 50-27-1, et seq.; and
WHEREAS, the funds that are generated from the lottery are used for tuition grants, scholarships or loans to undergraduate college students, and the Georgia Pre-kindergarten Program, and the Georgia HOPE Scholarship program; and
WHEREAS, members of the Georgia General Assembly are beginning to explore the idea of legalized gambling to help fund the HOPE Scholarship other educational programs; and
WHEREAS, however, legalizing casino gambling in the state would require the Georgia General Assembly to propose, and the electors of the state to approve, a constitutional amendment to allow legalization and expansion; and
WHEREAS, expansion of gambling in Georgia would provide thousands of jobs and provide millions of dollars to fund HOPE scholarship; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to state law, the City of Atlanta may only present an opinion poll to the electors of the City of Atlanta pursuant to statutory authorization by the Georgia General Assembly; and
WHEREAS, it is in the best interests of the City of Atlanta to request that the Georgia General Assembly authorize the City of Atlanta to propose a non-binding ballot question to Atlanta residents on legalization and expansion of casino gambling to further support and fund education, scholarships, and other public services.
THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ATLANTA, GEORGIA HEREBY ORDAINS, AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1: that the Atlanta City Council requests that the Georgia General Assembly statutorily authorize the city of Atlanta to propose a non-binding ballot question to the electors of the city of Atlanta concerning whether Atlanta, Georgia should be considered as a possible destination location if the state of Georgia were to legalize gambling.
SECTION 2: The ballot shall have written or printed thereon the words:
“[ ] YES If the state of Georgia legalizes gambling, should Atlanta, Georgia be considered as a possible destination location?
[ ] NO”
SECTION 3: All persons desiring to indicate that Atlanta, Georgia should be considered as a possible destination location if the state of Georgia were to legalize gambling, shall indicate “Yes,” and those persons desiring to indicate that Atlanta, Georgia should not be considered as a possible destination location if the state of Georgia were to legalize gambling, shall indicate “No.”
SECTION 4: That this Ordinance shall take effect immediately upon its approval.
SECTION 5: The City of Atlanta Municipal Clerk shall transmit a copy of this Ordinance to the Georgia General Assembly.
SECTION 6: That all ordinances and parts of ordinances in conflict herewith are hereby waived only to the extent of the conflict.