MACON, Ga. — Macon-Bibb District Attorney David Cooke wants to get rid of commercial gambling machines across the state. In a press conference Monday, Cooke announced he wants to ban the machines because he says they they do more harm than good.
Darren McKhan has worked at the Marathon gas station on Gray Highway for about six months. He says the commercial gambling machines inside the store attract more customers.
"It benefits in a nice, smooth, and nonviolent way," said McKhan.
McKhan says some customers who come in to use the machines also spend money on other items like food and drinks.
Cooke says a ban on video gambling machines will cut down on gambling addiction and abuse.
"It's not uncommon to see children standing in local convenient stores while their parents gamble away money that's meant for groceries and rent," said Cooke.
Cooke says the illegal cash payouts some stores hand out lead to violent crimes.
Other store employees who say they operate the coin-operated amusement machines legally don't like the idea of a ban. McKhan says it will hurt business and take away from the funds that go towards the HOPE Scholarship.
"I feel like cutting it out is like cutting opportunities and cutting opportunities for scholarships for kids that need them," said McKhan.
"I want them out, I want them gone, and I don't want them to hook another person in this community," said Cooke.
Cooke says people spend more than $200 million on the machines each year in Central Georgia. He asked people to contact their legislators and Governor Kemp to gain support for the potential ban.