Valdosta lays its cards on the table when it comes to bringing gambling to the city

Valdosta community talks possibility of bringing in gambling

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - People across the City of Valdosta are speaking about how they feel about the possibility of bringing gambling to their community.

It was less than a week ago that city leaders and state legislators sat down to talk about the possibility of bringing gambling to South Georgia.

“Anything that can bring more business into Valdosta, that isn’t harming anybody, is a good idea,” said Valdosta resident Cariana Spivey.

Cariana Spivey
Cariana Spivey (Source: WALB)

Spivey is just one of many who said she’s open to welcoming a new industry if it means more money.

“I really don’t have anything negative to say about it, if that’s what they want to do and waste their money, then that’s on them," said Catherine Johnson, who frequently visits the Valdosta area.

Catherine Johnson
Catherine Johnson (Source: WALB)

Johnson lives nearby and said she doesn’t gamble but believes she can’t judge those who do. She, Spivey and Valdosta resident Liz Baas all support the idea but not without some concerns.

“I think there should be rules to playing and if they can’t follow it, then they shouldn’t be allowed there," said Baas.

Liz Baas
Liz Baas (Source: WALB)

“I love animals, so I definitely wouldn’t support people betting on animals. The small casino idea, I think it’s a great one," said Spivey.

Baas said the idea of gambling in itself could also mean more opportunity for fun in the community and tourists, as long as it’s not overdone.

“A lot of people come home and say, ‘Oh yeah, I just lost this much money.’ As long as you don’t keep going, knowing that you’re not going to win," said Baas.

This is why Spivey said she thinks it comes down to doing things in moderation, but she understands that the issue is a complex one that is not so black and white.

“I mean addiction is a disease. Sometimes you don’t know until you meet that vice," said Spivey.

Spivey said that she thinks that time has to be taken to work out the details and the kinks.

Valdosta Mayor John Gayle said that this is not something that will happen overnight, but it will be the result of years of hard work on the behalf of city leaders and state officials.

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