Casino is a facility that accommodates and houses various gambling activities. It operates in the gaming industry. Casinos are mostly situated near or combined with restaurants, hotels, cruise ships, retail shopping centers, and other tourist attractions. The establishment of casinos demands legislation from the government to regulate them, given the economic and social ramifications of the industry. The motivation for casino gambling is the revenue created for the state, the creation of many jobs, and the provision of recreational activities for the public. However, it also has negative impacts like crime and addiction, which make many states remain reluctant to legalize casino gambling (Schwartz, 1). The state of Georgia is one of the many states that have banned casino gambling constitutionally. However, despite the ban, it is increasingly evident that the legalization of casino gambling may be the only way for Georgia to deal with its current financial deficit and deliver quality services to its citizens.
Why Casino Gambling Should be Allowed
Gambling is not new in Georgia, given the establishment of the state lottery previously. The aim of the lottery was to provide financial assistance to the students who qualified for the merit-based hope scholarships. This lottery was also meant to provide all-expenses-paid education at college level for Georgian students in public universities. The introduction of casino gambling will not be a new idea to Georgians, and the notion that it will have more negative than positive ramifications is unfounded and falsely alarming. Moreover, Georgia’s lottery has struggled to keep up with the demand for educational funding, forcing the lawmakers and Deal to change the eligibility requirements and scholarship amounts in recent years (Free 679). Given the financial deficit faced by the administration of the state, the legalization of casino gambling may provide a way of bridging the financial gap and ensuring eligible students do not miss of scholarships.
Casino gambling will increase the revenue collected by the state of Georgia (Hsu). The revenues will accrue from licensing and tax returns as well as other collections from tourists and businesses related to gambling. It is estimated that casino gambling can raise more than one billion dollars in revenues per year. This money can be used to fund the education of the qualifying students who cannot pay school fees. It can also be used to improve infrastructure and social amenities. The gambling business will also attract tourists from other parts of the world who are keen on having a gambling experience. The establishment of businesses related to gambling, such as hotels and shopping malls, is a welcome effect since it will increase the number of businesses that remit taxes to the state and hence, more revenue for spending on other areas that need development. Therefore, it is clear that the legalization of casino gambling in Georgia will greatly boost the economic standing of the state and ultimately result in the improved lives of its residents.
The legalization of gambling will help tame the increasing rate of unemployment. In Biloxi, Mississippi, casino gambling created approximately 15,000 jobs (WGCL-TV). Although there were reservations on the legalization of gambling in the state, the outcome surprised not only the locals but also the government, whose concern was high unemployment rates (Free 682). Thus, job opportunities are created within casinos as well as other business establishments related to casinos such as hotels and shopping centers. It will also provide the locals with a wide range of entertainment activities for both children and adults. The latter can amuse themselves by gambling during their free time while the former can enjoy the social amenities such as public parks that are constructed and maintained with the funds collected from gambling. It will be more comfortable for the Georgians who love gambling but have to travel to other states to participate in their favorite pastime. Ultimately, the state and its residents will gain from the legalization of casino gambling in Georgia.
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Addiction is one of the concerns raised by casino gambling critics in justifying their opposition to its legalization. However, addiction is not the result of the presence of casinos since it develops due to a general individual predilection to gambling (Hsu, 203). People, who are interested in gambling but who lack the opportunity to do so, retain the interest although they have not even gambled. Instead of increasing addiction, the presence of casino gambling in Georgia will promote responsible fund management by prompting people to reconsider their expenditure in relation to their financial obligations. Moreover, some of the people, who report addiction to gambling in the states where it is legalized, have a chance to sign up to a state-trespass list to prevent them from getting access to the casinos when they know they cannot control their spending. Consequently, addiction is not a valid reason to forgo the benefits of legalized casino gambling in Georgia.
Another benefit of legalizing casino gambling is the improvement of security in the state. There are claims that casinos attract gangs and criminal, thus worsening the security of a state (Hsu 241). However, it should be realized that the reported relative increase in crime is not solely caused by the presence of casinos but rather by the increased number of people in the regions where casinos are located. Therefore, the increase in population guarantees the rise of crime rate, irrespective of whether the region is a gambling hub or an industrial town. Furthermore, regions, where casinos are located, have improved security systems aimed at safeguarding the investments as well as the people who come there to gamble. Consequently, it is unlikely that in the conditions of such improved security surveillance, crime rates will increase. Even though it seems to be a problem, it can be anticipated and adequately tackled, using the funds from gambling to create bypasses and airports to ease traffic flow and ensure smooth running of businesses as usual.
Alternatives to Casino Gambling
The demonstrated benefits of legalizing casino in Georgia can be achieved in other ways that do not have negative impacts of gambling. Revenue can be raised and employment opportunities created by increasing industrialization of the state as well as promoting other sources of revenue such as tourism. At the same time, the promotion of sporting activities in both participation and attendance can provide recreational opportunities, improved revenue from taxation, and provide employment for locals. The state can lobby big companies like Boeing to establish assembly plants in the state to provide employment opportunities. Scholarship funds can be raised by partnerships with churches, individuals, and business entities to raise money for the students that qualify for scholarships but the state is unable to provide them with it. Thus, the legalization of casino gambling is not the only option for the problems of the state of Georgia. Therefore, Georgia can do without them as it has done before.
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The above argument shows the merits of legalizing casino gambling in Georgia despite the anxiety over its negative ramifications. The benefits are for every member of the state and they will improve the quality of services provided by the state to its citizens, such as education and social amenities, as well as provide employment opportunities and recreational facilities. Improved security surveillance is beneficial to the state by averting possible internal and external terror attacks. Despite the possibility of negative effects of casino legalization, it is still better to legalize it and deal with the problems as they arise, rather than reject the idea altogether and miss the positive effect it will have on the state. Therefore, the legalization of casino gambling in Georgia is the right step to take.