I pushed hard for Issue 6 back in November – hoping to bring casino gambling to Ohio through a single, destination casino in South West Ohio. I argued it would bring much needed jobs to an area of the state that really needs them. I made a lot of arguments in favor of Issue 6 but found absolutely no support from any other bloggers or politicians or main stream media outlets.
Well now that the economy has nearly collapsed and the state is facing a 7 billion dollar budget shortfall, some Ohio politicians seem to be softening on the issue.
Even Governor Strickland, normally an opponent of casino gambling but ever the realist, has said he’s open to any proposal that might help Ohio’s economy – including gambling.
Last time around, lots of people claimed they hated issue 6 but weren’t against casino gambling itself.
Well now’s your chance to prove you weren’t lying (Tim… Modern…).
Here’s my first take on what we need from a gambling proposal:
1. Full gambling. No half-assed slot machine crap. No one is going to drive more than 10 minutes to play stupid slot machines. And slot machines aren’t going create too many jobs. We need full-on casino gambling.
2. Destination gambling. Any gambling licenses must require the licensee and/or partners to build destination casinos that include restaurants and hotels. Not just a big aircraft hangers full of old people smoking and playing slots (aka: wheeling island).
3. Be honest with the voters. Voters may be dumb but they aren’t stupid. Learn and earn tried to cast itself as a school funding bill when it was actually a casino bill. Voters felt like they were being duped – and they were. Initiatives like that are destined to fail.
4. Start in the Legislature. The proposal to change the Constitution and allow casino gambling should come from lawmakers, not from out-of-state casino owners and not in-state race track owners.
5. Auction off a limited number of licenses – with lots of job-generating requirements (see above) attached. The Republicans should like this solution because it lets the market decide what casino gambling in Ohio is worth.
Tim? Modern? Got any more suggestions?