MGM eyes Atlanta for $1 Billion Casino Resort

Georgia is one of the latest states to consider major casino resorts, with a bill currently moving through the Georgia State Legislature. This has in turn attracted MGM Resorts International, as they’re interested in plans for a $1 billion downtown Atlanta resort.

The perks are definitely there if Atlanta opts for this casino, with tens of millions of dollars being funneled to college scholarships and the creation of around 3,500 jobs.

Rep. Ron Stephens (Savannah), who chairs the House’s economic development committee, believes that this would be the “Cadillac” of casino resorts, from the look of the casino to the jobs it will offer.

“I’ve seen what they want to do, and it’s going to blow your mind,” Stephens told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s massive in its size and its elegance. This is a game-changer. I’m looking for a win-win-win and this is it.”

The major problem with this win-win-win is that there’s some major opposition in both the governor’s office and General Assembly. Gov. Nathan Deal has consistently been opposed to gambling since his election in 2010. And this poses a major problem for any companies interested in Georgia as a casino destination, given that the governor’s signature would be needed for a bill.

Nevertheless, this hasn’t squashed excitement surrounding the proposed deal, with MGM spokesman Clark Dumont citing that Atlanta is a “beautiful market.” He also said that the company is in the “very preliminary stages of scouting out the Atlanta area for possible locations. And the big reasons why MGM is looking into Atlanta in the first place is because they were recently approached by a local group.

“We typically don’t go into an area in which we are not invited into,” said Dumont.

Insiders say that a couple of potential locations for the casino could be near the Georgia World Congress Center, where the Georgia Dome will soon be demolished, or in a spot filled with parking lots and railroad tied called the “Gulch.”

Getting a major casino resort in Atlanta is a process that could take years, especially with Deal set to be in office until 2019. However, MGM and/or another company might certainly be willing to go through the long journey, given that Atlanta is a bustling town with a metropolitan area of almost 5 million people.