State Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, says a re-tooled 28-page “Destination Resort” constitutional amendment – the word “casino” is never mentioned— will be introduced in the Senate this afternoon or tomorrow morning at the latest. One site would be slated for the Atlanta area, with a minimum $2 billion investment stipulation; the second resort is allowed in an un-named location somewhere in Georgia with a minimum $450 million investment.

There is no pari-mutuel horse race wagering component, and an identical companion resort bill will be introduced in the House by Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Savannah.

The legislation would create a gaming commission– Beach says its follows the “Nevada model”– with members appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor and the speaker of the House of Representatives. A payment of 20 percent in state taxes would be levied for these casino/hotel/restaurant/entertainment complexes. (Last year’s legislative version called for a 12 percent tax rate but allowed for six casino-centered resorts.) 

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