In a word? No.

Hell, Columbus already has more murders per 100,000 people than Las Vegas. Last I checked they had legalized gambling in the form of casinos. Lots of them.

Murders in 2007 (per 100,000):

Las Vegas – 9
Columbus, Ohio – 11

I know. Property crimes are what increase when casinos come to town! Yes. Property crimes.

Property crimes in 2007 (per 100,000):

Las Vegas – 4,3,92
Columbus, Ohio – 6,996

Whoops. I may be inadvertently making the case here for SEVERAL casinos downtown! No wait. Maybe robberies will increase. Robbery has to be BAD in Vegas with all that money and loose women. Yes. Robbery!

Robberies in 2007 (per 100,000):

Las Vegas – 392
Columbus, Ohio – 523

So are people getting robbed and killed over their lotto tickets? LOL.

So yes. Let’s make sure we don’t have any casinos so we can preserve our crime free midwestern heritage! Whatever.

(By the way, Cleveland, Toledo, Cincinnati, and Columbus were all in the top 35 of all cities listed sorted by violent crime!) Don’t believe the fear merchants who say crime will follow casinos. They need to make another – more persuasive – argument.

 
  • The high crime rate in Ohio is what’s fueling the demand for casinos. Criminals want to launder their money without having to cross state lines to get to a casino to do it. After all, nationwide, the recession is dampening demand for casinos. Most industries don’t expand in a downturn, especially when revenue is dropping at existing locations. I don’t know whether you’ve noticed it or not (maybe you don’t read the headlines, but maybe you do) but NEO is rampant with public corruption, and its been that way for decades. The FBI has just recently sniffed out the tip of the iceberg. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of the Ohio gambling that takes place in Erie PA and Detroit MI comes from money launderers. For those who want the FBI to stop snooping before they, themselves, get sniffed out, getting casinos inside state lines will be huge, especially since the casinos will feature cash wagering. To help snuff out the blaze of crime in Ohio, we should do what we can to deprive criminals of easy access to money-laundering oxygen by denying casinos. Then we can continue our course of purging corruption. Improving access to money laundering will draw out the cat-and-mouse game, helping criminals continue evading law enforcement efforts. In places like Erie County, it’s difficult to even police the casino petitions (read, to see what I’m referring to: http://buckeyerino.com/2009/09/26/police-dont-have-the-tools-to-hold-casinos-accountable/), let alone actual casinos.

  • So it’s crime BEFORE casino? LOL. I’ve not heard that one before…

  • Absolutely. According to all marketplace indicators, demand for casinos is down. So, why the recent feverish blitz for casino expansion in an otherwise tepid marketplace? Add two and two together. It’s because demand by criminal elements for access to money laundering facilities have gone through the roof. Since September 11, 2001, the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies have necessarily had to upgrade their capabilities. As federal law enforcement capabilities have ramped up, corruption has been brought to light in places like Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, New Jersey, etc., etc., etc., that had gone unnoticed for decades. To escape the light of day and avoid detection by federal investigators, a criminal needs to keep operations as local as possible, so that you aren’t transporting ill-gotten gains over state lines, risking federal penalties, and so that you keep things within local police jurisdictions that don’t have the capability of policing you (or worse, keep things within police jurisdictions where cops look the other way or even might be accomplices).

    Besides, look at the history, and see how casinos got their start in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a mobster who first hatched the scheme, wasn’t it? Crime before casino. Are you absolutely sure you haven’t heard that one before?

  • Of course I’ve heard the stories of how Vegas casinos were started. I’m also aware – as are you – that they are legitimate businesses today. Or do you claim Vegas is one big money laundering operation?

    The one I had NOT heard is the tale you tell about how casino owners want to move into Ohio because of the high crime rates. That is ludicrous on face. They want to move into Ohio because there are…wait for it

    …wait for it

    NO CASINOS IN OHIO!!!!

    Duh.

    You spin a nice conspiracy theory here, but you leave me (still) unconvinced.

  • Oh, so you HAVE heard that one before.

    What’s so ludicrous? The crime rate? No, not the crime rate, because that’s what your entire blog entry is about. That casinos want to partner with crime? No, because, as you just acknowledged, it’s embedded in history. So, I submit to you that it’s not ludicrous.

    Your explanation for casino expansion into Ohio is simply that there are no casinos in Ohio? That sounds like “Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side!” Is that the whole explanation? Is it all that innocent?

    The marketplace data tells us that consumer demand for casinos is dropping, yet this is the 2nd November in a row that we’re voting on a constitutional amendment proposing casinos. When most businesses branch out, it’s because business is booming, and the expansion sites chosen are usually picked according to their economic vitality. Ohio is not a hotbed of economic vitality, in case you haven’t noticed. Isn’t it odd that the casino industry is doing things exactly opposite from what other industries do? Their most ambitious expansions occur during downturns, and they choose expansion sites that aren’t economically vibrant. Do you notice that they didn’t propose building their Columbus area site at Polaris? They didn’t propose building their Cincinnati site next to Kings Island? They didn’t propose building their Toledo area site in Perrysburg, or Maumee, or Sylvania? Their Cleveland area site isn’t being built in the tony upscale suburbs of Geauga County or Medina County, or even in Independence, where a bunch of hotels are, right off the interstate. Casino sites are selected in backwater rural areas and decaying urban areas. They locate either in crime hotbeds (in some cases, not even bothering to locate conveniently near an interstate off-ramp where traffic counts are highest) or they locate in backwaters where police don’t have the tools to investigate them. Other businesses WANT police protection, want high traffic-counts near their sites, and want to tap more affluent demographics.

    Do casinos want to expand into Ohio since there are none here? Of course they do, but, unlike the chicken who crossed the road, they don’t want to come here just to get to the other side. The explanation is not that innocent. How far is Toledo from Detroit? How far is Cincinnati from Lawrenceburg? How far is Cleveland from Erie? How far is Columbus from Wheeling? Not far at all. The casino industry already serves 4 of Ohio’s biggest metro areas. The problem is that crossing state lines to launder money makes criminals nervous, so even if a casino were located in Monroe MI, it still wouldn’t be close enough for comfort for Toledo crime lords, and even if a casino were located in Covington KY, it still wouldn’t be close enough for Cincinnati crime lords, because they would still have to cross state lines. It only takes one casino in Ohio to fill the money-laundering need that criminal organizations have, so last year’s proposal was for just one casino. It got voted down because it was a monopoly. This time, there are four proposed locations, so it doesn’t sound like a monopoly (even though it is), but, really, the criminal elements of Ohio just need one. Toledo officials have even expressed doubt that their site will ever be built upon because it would require infrastructure changes that local governments aren’t able to fund and that the casino owners haven’t committed to fund, but the real reason why the Toledo site might not get built is that the Detroit casinos are close enough to satisfy the Toledo market and that once just one Ohio casino is built, from a criminal organization standpoint, building the other locations would just be icing on the cake. The unresolved concerns about the Toledo site only demonstrate how expendable that site truly is to the casino tycoons.

  • Tom

    I have read your endorsement of the upcoming vote on Casinos in Ohio. However, I have some concerns about the 34.000 jobs for the 4 proposed casinos. Where can I get a breakdown of what the jobs will be? My guess is that each casino would gain about 34,000 divided by 4 equals 8500 jobs. My breakdown estimate is:
    1. 1500 employed in each casino as cleaning employees; maintenance people for electricity & plumbing; gardeners, parking lot attendees, etc.
    2. 500 in administrative offices, etc.
    These are jobs that could be filled by Ohioans who are now unemployed.
    3. 1000 in each casino for game operators, dealers, gambling machine technicians and repair personnel, etc.
    4. 500 top administrators and executives to run the casino.
    These are jobs that if I was a casino operator, I would want well trained and super reliable to carrying out my setting of odds, policing my operators, etc. These I would hire from other casinos or select people I could train and trust. These would not be run of the mill unemployed Ohioans, but people from my other casinos. Maybe after a few years, I would have located Ohioans whom I could trust and train to fill these jobs.
    I believe many of the unemployed police personnel would be available for general policing in our communities and added police needed for traffic control and other law enforcement at the casino sites. This might take care of 100 unemployed law enforcement people at each casino.
    Possibly 1000 unemployed Ohioans could be employed at each casino for construction. These jobs may last about a year. Possibly about 1500 people in each community would be employed in service operations in each of the four cities where the casinos would be located. This leaves about 3000 jobs not identified. That, along with the 1 year construction jobs and the highest paid administrative and game servicing personnel, who definitely would NOT be Ohioans for the first several years of operation. This does not seem like much benefit to Ohioans who do not live in the 4 cities where the casinos would be located.
    I am no lover of high taxes and do not like to see taxes raised. But if we rely on the proposed casino earnings, the casinos would have to earn 1 million dollars to get the money for the approximately 330,000 dollars for each 1,000,000 dollars they would earn, in order to contribute to Ohio. I am sure the casinos would employ a battery of expensive accountants and lawyers to keep the earnings figures as low as possible. An Ohio tax levy of any kind that would produce each 1 million dollars needed by Ohio, would more likely ensure that Ohio would get the income Ohio needs.
    I believe that most gamblers have their favorite casinos in other states and they will not easily flock to Ohio casinos unless they are given enticements for greater winnings, etc.. How do we expect to entice these gamblers to the Ohio casinos? Especially those gamblers living near the Indiana, Kentucky and Pennsylvania border?
    Finally, since Issue 3 is a Constitutional Amendment, no changes, however slight, could be made without another Constitutional Amendment
    If you can help me with some of these questions, I MAY vote for the casino bill. Otherwise, I see nothing but trouble for Ohio with these casinos.

    Thomas J. Bartol

  • Pingback: Criminals sponsor gambling? No way! . . . umm, YES way, hello . . . wake up, people . . . « Buckeye RINO()

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