Valdosta Daily Times

March 15, 2013

Video poker bill clears Ga. Senate


The Associated Press

ATLANTA — The Georgia Senate has voted to approve a bill that would centralize control and enforcement of video poker machines in the state.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the Senate voted 35-16 Thursday to approve House Bill 487, which would transfer oversight and enforcement of video poker machines to the Georgia Lottery Corp.

Under the proposal, a share of the proceeds would be used to fund the state’s HOPE scholarship program and the measure has earned Gov. Nathan Deal’s support. The bill would require stores housing video poker machines to award vouchers for merchandise and not cash, tobacco or alcohol.   

The house last week approved a version of the bill.

The Senate will send the proposal back to the House to approve changes made in committee and on the floor.

In other legislative news, Georgia lawmakers plan to end their annual legislative session in late March.

A resolution adopted Thursday by the House of Representatives has set the final day for March 28. The last day is commonly called Sine Die, which means adjourning without setting another meeting. House Majority Leader Larry O’Neal said there is a possibility the schedule could be changed depending on how quickly a budget is passed.