he council unanimously adopted a resolution urging the Georgia Lottery Board to approve the proposal, which would raise money for the HOPE Scholarship program and generate millions of tax dollars for the city and metro region.
Monday’s action added council members’ voices to a project already being championed by Mayor Shirley Franklin. The mayor sent O’Leary and John Aderhold, the leaseholders on Underground Atlanta, a letter of support last November. O’Leary and Aderhold are asking the lottery board to approve a casino that would contain up to 5,000 video lottery terminals (VLTs).
Limiting the project to gaming terminals rather than a more extensive casino with amenities such as card tables and roulette wheels would allow the plan to be approved without going to the General Assembly, which has resisted legalized gambling in Georgia other than the lottery.
The first phase of the project would include a us$ 50 million overhaul of the existing Underground, which has struggled financially for years. The master plan that would follow would include a us$ 450 million hotel.