Pari-Mutual Gambling Up for Vote in Hamilton County


Gaming organizers promise jobs and revenue growth, but there is opposition. Voters in Hamilton County will soon decide if a proposed $30 million gambling facility can be built in their backyards. Organizers say the facility would create a lot of opportunity.

"The jobs and the opportunity for jobs and the growth that would be created with the facility being built," says Glen Richards.

And Richards says having Jai-Alai and eventually horse racing would make Hamilton County a tourist destination for people across south Georgia and north Florida.

Others disagree.

"Ninety percent of people who frequent one of these gambling establishments is proven to be from 40 miles of the establishment, so we're not going to get a lot of tourism dollars," says Jerry Thomason.

Jerry Thomason is helping spearhead the "vote no" effort. He says there are plenty of studies to prove gambling has a negative effect on a community. There seems to be strong support on both sides, and both men feel confident the voters will see it their way.

The vote on this issue takes place next Tuesday. Both sides say they are not planning any court action if voters rule against them.