ATLANTA - Georgia lawmakers have approved an overhaul of who regulates video poker and similar coin-operated machines in the state, and opened the door for some proceeds to be directed to the HOPE scholarship program.
The House and Senate each signed off on the bill Thursday. The legislation moves oversight of the machines to the Georgia Lottery Corporation and away from the state Department of Revenue. The bill had garnered opposition from anti-gambling groups, but supporters say the goal is to crack down on illegal gambling by making it easier to identify rogue machines.
The machines provide non-cash prizes, including merchandise and vouchers.
The bill calls for five percent of net receipts to be retained and directed to the HOPE scholarship program, reaching a maximum of 10 percent over time.