Gov. Nathan Deal today unveiled a new law enforcement initiative to crack down on gambling parlors currently proliferating throughout Georgia.
"Today, we are coming together to send a clear message to the illegal gaming industry, and to concerned communities throughout Georgia: Our state law prohibits gambling," said Deal. "The code is black and white on this issue. Though some have sought to further their own interests by spreading the impression that the thwarting of these laws would be winked at, we are here to reassure Georgians that we will prosecute anyone skirting the law in this area."
The state of Georgia has witnessed an expansion of internet cafes which are being used to host internet gaming, complete with cash prizes. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation now estimates that there are 50-100 active operations. The governor is launching this initiative because large internet sweepstakes companies have their eye on Georgia for a massive expansion -- projected at hundreds of locations with major sites having as many as 500 gaming terminals.
"I am calling on GBI Director Vernon Keenan, Attorney General Sam Olens, the District Attorneys' Association and law enforcement to use their jurisdiction and power to enforce Georgia's gaming laws to the fullest extent," Deal said. "Establishments falsely claiming to be internet cafes are not welcome in Georgia. We are sending a clear message that we do not want this industry in Georgia and I am directing the state's resources to eliminate it from our communities."
House Speaker David Ralston and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle joined the governor in vowing to take whatever legislative steps are needed during the General Assembly's 2012 session.