WABE News
5:17 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Gov. Deal Signs Video Lottery Bill

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Governor Nathan Deal has signed a bill changing oversight of video lottery machines. The move will benefit Georgia’s HOPE scholarship and pre-kindergarten program.

The Georgia Lottery, which funds HOPE and pre-k, will now regulate the machines.

The governor’s spokesperson, Brian Robinson, says the new system will make it easier to ensure all the machines are operating legally.

“All of these machines will be hooked in to the central office at the Georgia Lottery," Robinson says, "We will know how much money’s coming, how much money’s going out. And we’re going to know how much money is going to HOPE and pre-k.”

The bill was criticized by anti-gambling groups, who said it would pave the way for legalized gambling in Georgia. Robinson disputes that.

“There is nothing that was illegal in Georgia that is now legal because of this law," he says, "All this does is give the state oversight to make sure the law is being followed, that taxes are being paid.” 

Initially, 5% of the profits from the machines will go toward HOPE and pre-k. It will eventually increase to 10%. 

Gov. Deal signed HB 487 into law this week, putting oversight of video lottery machines in the hands of the Georgia Lottery.
Credit Nick Nesmith / WABE