“The Peach State” of Georgia has motorsports and beach resorts, but gambling is illegal in the state. But Atlanta Motor Speedways wants to build a family racino resort and entertainment complex. The racing company has submitted its official plans to Georgia lawmakers, hoping they will relax gambling restrictions in the state.
Currently, the Georgia State Lottery is the only form of gambling allowed, and most of its proceeds are earmarked for education and local charities. But the President of Atlanta Motor Speedways (AMS) thinks Georgia can do casino resorts differently – by catering to the whole family.
Fun for the Whole Family
While the idea of a casino resort with family entertainment is nothing new, Ed Clark, president of AMS, thinks Georgia can make a unique type of casino resort experience for the whole family.
In a series of conceptual drawings, Clark’s company plans to incorporate a NASCAR racetrack, casino resort, 300,000-square-foot theme park, and a family entertainment center. The resort would also include an indoor/outdoor waterpark, driving range, concert venue, cinema, and convention spaces.
In addition to the drawing power of racing and gambling, the casino resort would feature the usual assortment of restaurants, bars, night clubs, and of course, 85,000 square feet of casino gaming floor space. And if that wasn’t enough, they will also offer 400-unit timeshare properties.
The Big Pitch
The AMS resort plans are part of a big pitch to allow legalized gambling in Georgia. Ed Clark needs to convince state legislators that his casino resort plan is a win-win for the people and the state.
Clark claims that it would be natural to make AMS into a casino resort, as it is already a big attraction with its yearly NASCAR races, Georgia State Fair, Atlanta Air Show, and Imagine Music Festival. Add to the huge racing fan base already on offer, the AMS megaresort casino complex would draw thousands of new visitors for sporting events, concerts, and of course, gambling.
The planned site is also in close proximity to 2 major airports in the Atlanta region. One of them, the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) in Atlanta, is the busiest airport in the world, pushing tin full of 107 million passengers per year down its runways. And it has held this title for 21 years in a row. In fact, locals joke that in order to pass through Heaven’s Pearly Gates, you’ll need to transfer at Atlanta Airport first.
Clark argues that the sheer number of visitors passing through the airport dangles a juicy profit peach for state revenues. ATL is also a major U.S. airport hub, dealing with a huge number of transfers. With the potential drawing power of a major entertainment hub in the area, many additional visitors would stay for a longer layover.
Clark also said that AMS is working with tribal casino giant Foxwoods Resort to develop the casino concept in full. As the builders of one of the largest casinos in the world, Foxwoods offers a partnership between the tribal casino moguls and the AMS racetrack giant, promising a fast track to the big bucks.
The project would create nearly 5,000 permanent jobs and generate more than $1 billion in construction revenue. But in order for the project to see the light of day, Georgia’s legislators must rule in favor of legalized gambling.
All portents point to profits when states legalize gambling. When properly organized and regulated, casinos pay out billions in dividends in the form of permanent jobs, tax revenue, and licensing fees. These are all lasting benefits for the people and the state. And even those who espouse the ‘evils of gambling’ are sure to spend their family vacation enjoying the other parts of the entertainment resort.
The Peach State should really reach out and grab that low-hanging casino fruit.
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