Late last week Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) delayed the vote on a gambling bill until Monday – "Crossover Day" – in order for House members to hear concerns from their constituents over the weekend and in church on Sunday. Yesterday, Ralston didn't bring the gambling issue up, postponing the vote. Georgia Baptist Mission Board Executive Director J. Robert White released the following statement regarding that development.
On Friday afternoon, Speaker David Ralston issued a challenge for State Representatives to hear over the weekend what the faith community had to say about casino gambling. The people of faith responded with a resounding “No!” At the conclusion of Monday, the 30th day of this legislative session, the issue of expanding gambling in the State of Georgia was not brought up for a vote by Speaker Ralston. Upon announcing the postponement of the casino legislation for this year, Speaker Ralston said, “I have found that the people I have talked with care deeply about the character and image of our state.”
Thank you, Georgia Baptists, for playing a key role in putting a stop to casino legislation by letting your voices be heard regarding protecting our state from an industry that preys on those who can least afford to throw their money away. Creating jobs and raising funds for education is a poor rationale for attempting to legalize immorality in our state. Casinos are bad business and bad for business in Georgia. They steal valuable dollars that would otherwise support business, and they introduce myriad vices to the state.
We need to thank the Lord for making our families and our children winners today. We simply cannot afford to gamble with the future of our children and the moral environment of our communities. Frankly, Georgia is a better state than to accept what the gambling industry has to offer.
I want to offer a special word of thanks to Speaker David Ralston and to our State Representatives for listening to our citizens rather than yielding to the big money gambling lobbyists. We also hope Speaker Ralston will also listen to citizens on the issue of religious liberty and bring HB757, as amended by the Senate, up for a vote.
J. Robert White
Georgia Baptist Mission Board
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