April 23, 2014

Ohio Sunday Papers | January 18, 2009 | Ohio Tuskegee Airman, Kevin Boyce, Casinos, Strickland, Ohio Economy, Cuyahoga Corruption, Fingerhut, OCSEA, Hobson, Voinovich, Taxes

Ohio’s Friday Morning Papers May Have Clarification from Gov. Strickland on Casino Gambling, Lottery

The Youngstown Vindicator tonight is teasing a story set for Friday’s edition which seems to indicate there will be no expansion of the state lottery or easing of restrictions on casino gambling in the upcoming state budget:

COLUMBUS — Gov. Ted Strickland told reporters he hopes the coming two-year operating budget can be developed without turning to expanded taxes or gambling as means of generating additional revenue.

Asked whether his biennial budget, to be presented to lawmakers in coming weeks, will include funds from expanded casino gaming or lottery proceeds, the governor replied, “I anticipate that there will not be provisions of that nature.”

He added, “I am working as best I can, and it’s not a complete document yet, but I am working as best I can to craft a budget that will not have expanded gambling as a part of it.”

Strickland answered Statehouse reporters’ questions today about a perceived softening in his stance on expanded gambling.

Strickland was cornered by several reporters after a speaking engagement at an event today to honor the memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  It looks like the some of the questions were about whether state leaders are looking to gambling revenue as some sort of quick fix to the state’s budget problems.

If restrictions were lifted in some measure on casino gambling in Ohio, I would hope it would be a stand-alone bill, fully deliberated through a committee process.  It’s bad enough we have term-tarded state legislators who aren’t in their jobs long enough to immerse themselves in issues or the operations of the government they lord over.  A big decision like that which may be made on gambling is a long-view thing that shouldn’t be rushed as part of what will be an already tense budget negotiation due to a weak economy and its effect on state receipts.

Ohio Newsbreak – January 14 – Winter Weather Ohio-Style, Pimp Daddy, Gamboling to Gambling, Traficant

Would You Bet On Casinos to Deliver Economic Prosperity for Ohio?

This endless casino debate in Ohio wears on me.  I’m sick of hearing about it.  I’m sick of gaming machine manufacturers trying to buy our politicians.  I’m sick of casino owners with their outlandish TV campaigns.  I’m not much of a gambler or casino goer.  There’s no particular reason.

Here’s what I’m thinking.  If people want to throw their money away, and if they have fun doing it; well, it’s their money.  But let’s cut all the bullshit.  Just legalize it.  Set the parameters, legalize it, and whoever wants to build one of these gaudy things, let ‘em build it.  I don’t like state legislators or government officials meeting with specific gaming interests.  No favorites, no chances to get corrupted. Just legalize it, set the rules and treat everyone the same.

But … tax the HELL out of it.  No economic development breaks, these companies make money hand over fist.  With the new state bureaucracy which will need to be created to regulate the industry, we could give tax breaks only to gaming companies that have loose slots.

There’s something unseemly about everyone and their brother being against the casino ballot initiative just a few months ago, and now Penn National Gaming is all over Cap Square.  There’s something cynical about being a state where casino gambling is not legal, but if state revenues are down, well, we’ll reconsider.

The Cincinnati Enquirer took a night off from covering Kentucky and actually published a pretty good story on the state of the gaming debate here in Ohio and who has been meeting with who.  Check it out.

Ohio Sunday Papers: January 11, 2009 – Education, Homebuilders, Gambling Debate, Salmonella, Ohio Legislature, UT, BGSU, Casinos, Budget Cuts