By Amy Wenk

Neighborhood Planning Unit C (NPU-C) unanimously voted Feb. 3 to support allowing Georgians to vote on casino gambling.

Fulton County Dist. 2 Commissioner Robb Pitts has initiated the discussion.

“Commissioner Pitts is advocating at least the right to have the citizens of Georgia vote on casino gambling,” NPU-C Chairman Eric Ranney said. “Given that our NPUs really are forums for varying community issues, I thought that it was appropriate regardless of how you feel about gambling itself.”

Shelley Lange, community and policy administrator for District 2, represented Pitts at the meeting. She said casino would require a constitutional amendment and therefore a state referendum. The soonest would be 2010.

She said the issue of gambling is “coming to a head in a weird sort of way through the Underground piece that kind of popped up.”

Developer Dan O’Leary, who holds a 50-year lease on Underground Atlanta, has proposed a $450 million redevelopment that would include a 29-story hotel and 5,000 video lottery terminals (VLTs).

VLTs might fit through a constitutional loophole by looking like slot machines but operating like scratch-off tickets.