To understanding today’s news about the casinos, let’s recap some stories from 2010 shall we?
October 2010: Governor Strickland, acting pursuant to a legislative mandate created by the Republican General Assembly announces his appointments to the Ohio Casino Commission, the regulatory authority that will license the casinos mandated by a constitutional amendment voters overwhelming passed in 2009 with promise it will create as soon as possible tens of thousands of jobs.
“Strickland, to his credit, especially given election-year pressures, […]Full Story... →
On Sunday the Dispatch ran a piece titled Casino deal a win for almost everyone, completely forgetting that they had called a much better deal “a rip off” just two years earlier.
The deal in question, proposed by John Kasich, allows racetrack owners to place VLTs (slots) at their tracks in exchange for a $50 million license fee and 33.5 percent tax on revenue.
The fee and tax rate of Kasich’s deal are MUCH lower than the deal proposed by Strickland back in 2009 of a $65 million license fee and a 50 percent tax on revenue. Clearly […]Full Story... →
You’ve got to read Mark Naymik’s story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
On Sunday, Naymik reported that a private lottery operator had its lobbyist hand deliver a written piece of legislation to the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee that would… amazingly, privatize the Ohio Lottery Commission’s operations. The company presenting the proposal just happens to have retained longtime political confident Donald G. Thibaut as a lobbyist.
Mind you, there never was a single witness, let alone a single hearing, that discussed the merits of privatization of the Lottery Commission. Normally, such privatization efforts are the subject of […]Full Story... →
It’s hard to capture every nuisance and change in the budget when it takes the Senate GOP caucus fifteen pages just to describe the amendments, and I haven’t the time (or yet present ability) to read the amendments myself.
Workers Compensation Council. InnovationOhio was quick to declare a partial victory in that the Ohio Senate’s omnibus budget amendment eliminates the unstaffed Workers Compensation Council. That’s pretty remarkable when you consider ordinarily such a move should have been made in the separate budget for Workers Compensation that has already been signed into law. Also, we all know that […]Full Story... →
Sorry for the title, but I just can’t even hold it back anymore.
Anyone else see this post on the Dispatch’s Daily Briefing blog this afternoon is going to have the same reaction. This was a one-year consultancy agreement:
Gaming expert to make $15 million from state
Moelis, which along with Spectrum Gaming was hired to advise Kasich on casinos and other gambling-related issues in Ohio, will be paid a monthly retainer fee of $200,000 over the year-long contract. Additionally, the Los Angeles-based company can earn up to $13 million in incentives fees.
According to the contract, which […]Full Story... →
The Cincinnati Enquirer has the story:
The announcement idles thousands of construction jobs as Rock balks at taxes millions higher than initially envisioned. Specifically, the House’s budget seeks to apply the 0.26 percent CAT tax to total betting at Ohio’s four planned casinos rather than just net losses by gamblers, the industry’s standard definition of revenue. If Ohio enacted the proposal it would mean a CAT tax bill for all four casinos possibly 10 times higher than the $5.2 million developers envisioned.
Rock Gaming officials have become increasingly vocal in the last two months about Ohio officials’ considerations on […]Full Story... →
Yesterday, the Columbus Dispatch reported that the House Republicans were set to consider some 200 amendments submitted in response to the Substitute House Bill they introduced for the State’s budget Thursday afternoon. Now the fate of these amendments are far from certain, but among the things the House GOP is being urged to change are:
Their new provision that would give county commissioners authority to privatize county jails. It’s getting to the point where Ohio’s criminals may never actually be punished by the State, but out-of-state corporations hired to mete out punishment for profits. Some Cincinnati-area lawmakers want to […]Full Story... →
John Kasich’s long time friends Doug Preisse and Robert Klaffky are now lobbyists working for Pinnacle, the owner of a large Indiana casino company. As long as Kasich delays making a decision about Ohio’s casinos, Indiana casinos continue to thrive. Coincidence?Full Story... →
John Kasich came into office promising to “move at the speed of business” to increase investment in Ohio and help bring back jobs lost as a result of the national recession.
As part of his highly touted economic development efforts Kasich has so far managed to spend millions of state dollars to keep two Ohio-based companies in Ohio – companies who were never really considering leaving the state – companies who weren’t even planning on expanding their operations.
Meanwhile billions of dollars of new investment has been ready to flow into Ohio, money that would create thousands of decent-paying […]Full Story... →
A credible source has informed us that Governor Kasich is poised to announce that former Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson will be named as the Chair of the Ohio Casino Commission imminently.
Speaker Davidson served as the first (and only) female Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives from 1996 until 2001. This, of course, will solve all of Kasich’s problems regarding that pesky “diversity” issue, right?
During her tenure as Speaker, the House enacted a deregulation of the electricity utilities, a policy so disastrous for Ohio’s economy that Republican Speaker Jon Husted worked with Governor Ted Strickland in […]Full Story... →
In today’s Cleveland Plain Dealer story about the debate over the enabling legislation to regulate the newly state constitutionally created casinos, we see the GOP Jon Husted decrying policies to encourage labor and minority hiring:
Winning the support of minorities was crucial for the passage of last fall’s Issue 3, which will bring casinos to Ohio’s four largest urban areas.
Cleveland Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert and Penn National Gaming, the entities that control the four gambling sites, knew it, too. They personally targeted NAACP leaders across Ohio, promising jobs, which earned them an endorsement from the […]Full Story... →
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