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Atlanta Suburb Pitches Gaming Resort for Economic Development
"A plush, 24-hour gaming resort featuring up to 425 machines that pay out non-cash prizes may be coming soon to an underdeveloped area of South DeKalb," reports Mark Niesse.
Niesse reports that the development—called Panola Slope—would feature "2,700-square-foot rooms, butler services, three restaurants, an outdoor entertainment venue, meeting spaces and shopping." Backers of the development describe the development as a "barcade."
"The entertainment complex would be located along the four-lane Covington Highway near Lithonia, where a series of condominiums and shops were built several years ago but failed to attract buyers. Those residences would be transformed into 24 rental 'villas' for guests of the Panola Slope resort, and the shopping area will house three restaurants and other retail.
The first-of-its-kind development has taken heat from critics who say that the development is a short slide away from full-fledged gambling. One critic at a public hearing wondered why the location would attract customers willing to pay $180 a night to stay at the resort when the same area had failed to attract buyers to pay for $180,000 homes.
The DeKalb County Commission has already approved the plan, and "the next step is to get its license application approved by the Georgia Lottery Corporation, which will complete background checks on the site’s owners and operators, ensure taxes have been paid and verify the site will comply with state law before operations can begin, possibly as soon as Labor Day."