A local developer is hoping that residents are ready for a new gambling facility in Norcross, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution sourcing the Associated Press.
Developer Dan O'Leary told AP that he wants to build a $1 billion entertainment complex that could help boost the state's economy and HOPE scholarship program. The complex would include a hotel, a theater and a game floor with 7,500 lottery machines, says the article.
The development, according to O'Leary, could make $700 million in annual revenue with $350 million each year for HOPE, and create 2,500 new jobs and a thousand additional construction jobs.
The complex would be built near Jimmy Carter Boulevard and I-85 South at the OFS headquarters. O’Leary has a contract to buy 122 acres from the fiber optics manufacturer, which will keep a facility on site.
In 2009, O'Leary was behind a similar project that involved transforming Underground Atlanta into a casino area with restaurants, shops and a hotel. Former Gov. Sonny Perdue opposed the idea.
It's unclear where Gov. Nathan Deal stands on O'Leary's new plan, but they did meet in January, according to records obtained by AP.
Deal's office didn't immediately comment to AP on the specifics of the plan, but he said that he doesn't think the state is "compatible with a casino-type environment."
O'Leary told AP he's not putting the "casino" label on the project because the state law bans Las Vegas-style card games such as poker. The video lottery terminals proposed in the plan are already permitted under state law, but it will need backing of the Georgia Lottery Board, whose members are appointed by Deal.