As news of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings in Newtown, Connecticut were coming to light on December 14, the finishing touches were being put on a deal with the Nevada Economic Development Board and Take-Two Interactive (see Vegas Inc. for the details). This week that deal is being questioned by the media in the state.
The Board approved an investment of $600,000 in taxpayer dollars to bring Take-Two quality assurance facility to Las Vegas. The company applied for and was awarded the $600,000 incentive package from the City of Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency last month. Take-Two will use the money to purchase a seven-year lease to occupy two floors of an office at 302 Carson Ave in Las Vegas.
In the wake of the school shootings in Connecticut, comments by NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre against the games Take-Two makes such as the Grand Theft Auto series, and media attention to violent video games in general as a catalyst for such abhorrent acts, State officials find themselves on the defensive.
Nevada Governor Brian's Sandoval's economic development director Steve Hill said that he has no regrets that Take-Two will bring 150 new jobs to the city.
"We’re happy that Take-Two chose Nevada and is bringing 150 really good jobs. We are happy to have them here," Steve Hill told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "It’s unfair to imply a correlation between such a horrible tragedy (school shooting) without any evidence there is a correlation” with the kind of games Take-Two makes.
Secretary of State Ross Miller also defended his part in the approval process – he is a member of the state board that approved the deal. He also said that he does not believe that violent video games have played a role in mass shootings.
Other state lawmakers say that the Board made the right decision and that it would be a bad idea to start picking and choosing who gets incentives based on the products they make alone.
Source: Reno Gazette-Journal