Georgia Considers Midway as Possible Home to New Casino
The idea is only at a discussion phase at the moment but it could benefit greatly the small Liberty County town. If the casino plan is approved by voters, it could impact all of Coastal Georgia.
The CEO of Liberty County Development Authority, Ronald Tolley, said: “We’re hoping this year it may be successful because we know it would be a tremendous benefit to the county.”
The future Midway casino will be given the green light for establishment if the bill for legalization of casino gambling in Georgia survives all legislative hurdles.
State representatives have worked hard on the bill for the last five years and they are now closer than ever to spearheading it through the Legislature. The measure would require a two-thirds vote by Georgia’s General Assembly, the signature of the governor and voter approval by a ballot referendum.
Rep. of District 168 in the Georgia House of Representatives, Al Williams, said: “I will not become a gambler, but I do listen to the people and 70% of the people in Georgia, with comparable numbers in Liberty County, a little higher in Liberty, have said give us the right to vote.”
According to Williams, he is not the only one who supports the bill and now that it is back on the table, there are discussions going on about the home of a future casino. Midway is one of the possible sites.
The Best Home to a Casino
Commercial real estate executive Rick Lackey considers Midway to be one of the best possible locations. His hopes are that the town would bring many tourists, between 5,000 and 7,000 a day since it has the amenities casino operators look for.
He added: “They’re going to want a minimum of 100 acres with freeway exposure on an exit ramp”.
Interstates 16 and 95 currently bring a steady flow of people, those who live in the area, which are about 35 million, and those who pass by on their way to Florida.
According to Williams, everyone would benefit from the new casino and not just those who gamble.
He added: “This could generate revenue of taxes between $3-5 million for Georgia. This is the only major industry we’ll ever be able to recruit that is not asking for tax abatement, they’re not asking for us to give them land. They’re not asking for anything. They’re just bringing 800-1,200 permanent jobs with an average income of $42,000 a year plus benefits.”
According to Tolley, the Liberty County Board of Commissioners and the City of Midway have already voted in favor of the new casino to go to a countrywide referendum if the state passes it.
Meanwhile, Lackey considers this to be the perfect time for new income to flow to the state and for new jobs to be generated.
Source: “Midway could be home of new casino as Georgia considers legalizing gambling” WTOC, February 8, 2021
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