His wait-and-see comments to our AJC colleague Scott Trubey and a scrum of other reporters are a far cry from his staunch opposition in 2015, when he told reporters he is “not there at all” on legalizing gambling.
This time around, he seems open to the debate, saying he would leave the matter to lawmakers to flesh out. He also declined to discuss the idea of putting one of those casinos – supporters are now calling them destination resorts – at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
“That’s above my pay grade,” he said. “When the issue becomes ripe for the city of Atlanta to become involved in, I will have some comment at a later time.”
He added: “You can live a long happy life by not telling the folks across the street what they should be doing. I’m going to keep my advice to myself and my comments to myself while they work on a bill.”
His comments mirror another one-time opponent who has somewhat softened his stance.
Neither Reed or Deal will have a direct say in the gambling initiative, a constitutional amendment that doesn’t require the governor’s signature. But both have significant political clout and, depending on how they break, could provide cover for lawmakers looking for a way to support – or oppose – the measure.