Lottery board ignores casino proposal

ATLANTA (AP) - The Georgia Lottery Board's first meeting since a plan surfaced to build a $450 million Atlanta casino almost ended without a mention of the plan.

But Fulton County Commissioner Rob Pitts stepped forward before the board adjourned and urged it to act.

Members of the seven-member board did not vote on the proposal by an Atlanta developer to build a casino to help fund the HOPE scholarship, and they were reluctant to talk about it at all.

Tony Campbell, the board's chair, simply said the plan is under evaluation and review.

But the panel could ultimately decide the fate of the unsolicited proposal to redevelop Underground Atlanta and build a 29-story hotel with more than 5,500 video lottery gambling terminals.

Developer Dan O'Leary, who is pushing the casino proposal in business circles around the state, said it could provide more than $300 million each year for education programs, including the HOPE scholarship.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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