State lawmakers are still finalizing the finer details of legislation, which would establish a lottery and offer up to five casino licenses, but this is not expected to hold up passage to the floor.
Bill provisions would allow for casino games at four existing dog track locations, and the construction of a new site that would be operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. The text also urges the Governor to negotiate with the tribe for a compact involving their its electronic bingo operations.
Bill sponsor, Senator Del Marsh is pushing for as many as 10 casino premises whilst other lawmakers are resolutely against any at all.
The establishment of a lottery, however, is proving less of a contentious subject. The public last voted on the issue back in 1999, so another legalization push is long overdue.
It is believed there is a great deal of bi-partisan support for the game.
“I think the people today, the voters today, 20 years later, I think are much more open,” Marsh explained.
“The polling shows even among Republicans, the vast majority are ready to vote on this.
“There’s no doubt that the lottery is more popular, but the gaming was actually more popular than I expected in the polling data.”
Marsh has claimed the bill has enough votes to pass the Senate floor, at which point it would progress to the House, and then if successful, finally to public ballot.