MGM Wants Billion Dollar Casino in Atlanta

MGM GrandCasino operator MGM Resorts International wants to build a $1b gaming venue in Atlanta, but serious obstacles remain.

On Wednesday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that MGM was scouting suitable locations in downtown Atlanta for a complex that would feature a casino, a luxury hotel, a live entertainment venue and other non-gaming amenities. MGM spokesman Clark Dumont cautioned that MGM’s plans were only in “the very preliminary stages” but the company viewed Atlanta as a “beautiful market.”

The market may be beautiful but it’s also completely inhospitable, as Georgia is one of a handful of US states that have yet to authorize casinos within their borders. This spring saw state legislators introduce a plan to put a question on the November 2016 ballot asking voters to amend the state’s constitution to remove the prohibition on casino gambling.

Rep. Ron Stephens, who introduced the pro-casino legislation and who also heads the state’s House economic development committee, has been given a look at MGM’s proposal and says it is “going to blow your mind.” Stephens said MGM’s proposal was “massive in its size and its elegance. This is a game-changer.”

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