Gov. Deal signs video poker bill

Thursday, April 11, 2013

ATLANTA (AP) -- Gov. Nathan Deal has signed into law a bill that changes oversight of video poker machines in the state and also opens the door for some proceeds to be directed to the HOPE scholarship program.

House Bill 487 moves oversight of video poker and other similar coin-operated machines to the Georgia Lottery Corp. and away from the state Department of Revenue. The bill, signed by Deal on Wednesday, calls for 5 percent of net receipts to be retained and directed to the HOPE scholarship program, reaching a maximum of 10 percent over time.

The bill had garnered opposition from anti-gambling groups, but supporters said the goal was to crack down on illegal gambling by making it easier to identify rogue machines.

The machines provide non-cash prizes, including merchandise and vouchers.


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