I oppose issue six for several reasons. Before going into a few reasons why it is nothing more than a con to benefit one casino operator, I want to talk a bit about the twisted philosophy we are buying into these days when it comes to curing economic woes---and who we chose to rely on to pull us out of them!
Perhaps it is time people in Ohio stop making 'deals with the joker' in attempts to cure economic/social problems or generate better business.
Let's look at a few examples:
* Schools---stop making deals with the junk food industry thinking you are going to get revenue from, say, vending machines--because the dollar amount the junk food industry yanks from you versus what you keep is not worth it the resulting growing number of obese kids we are helping to produce who could one day place a big strain on health care costs!
* Bar owners who complain about no smoking laws.... Pssst... Stop thinking you have to rely on tobacco to drive your business. Alternatively, develop a new vision or philosophy as to how you can generate more business. Shouldn't the food, drink, or atmosphere be the cornerstone attraction? Is it worth ruining your interior with smoke and making people sicker?
* Now we have bought on to yet another vice driven revenue rescue source...gambling as the panacea to cure all social/economic woes. If the best Ohio can do for economic development is to nurture the 'bad' under the belief that it will ultimately do good, then this is a sick and twisted cultural mentality that needs to be re-evaluated and perhaps changed! It is a mentality as sick as a gambling addiction. Only those in the treatment industry thrive from such a philosophy--and the vast majority of people do not.
None of the above helps to foster a healthy body that will be competitive in today's economy, so who can begin to measure the revenue losses that come from a physically and mentally sick people?--which we are--and growing! Again, only those in the treatment industry gain. What about the rest of us?
Continuing further, lets look at some of the technicals why issue 6 should be opposed. For starters, some of the language suggests that some revenue will help those addicted to gambling. Ok, Let's use gambling to help the gambling addicted. That’s like selling cigarettes to pay for lung cancer research!
Next, if you read through the issue authored by the gaming industry, there are simply too many loopholes that could result in the casino paying absolutely NOTHING to the state because the language states that the casino would pay "up to" x amount of revenue. "Up to" could mean nothing. The gaming industry is in business for one reason--PROFIT...NOT charity. other language in section 6 of the issue reads as follows: (d)The remaining gross casino receipts taxes collected shall be distributed as follows: ten percent (10%) to the county in which the casino is located and ninety (90%) to be distributed on a per capita basis among all 88 counties in Ohio, such funds to be deposited into the general fund of each county and spent at each county's discretion. Where is the accountability here?
I hope Ohioans will remember even just these two examples of language in the proposed amendment that has unaccountability written all over it when they vote. The question is…Are we really going to generate revenue for the state? If so, at WHAT COST???
Sure, several other states have jumped on the casino bandwagon and it may seem like the latest thing to do BUT---If everyone is playing monkey see monkey do, why would Ohio be so different or special enough to attract tourists in drones? A casino? Its just like another Wal-Mart or Walgreens on the corner; nothing special! Are we going to become a destination place like Vegas where people travel to gamble, many of whom actually have some money to blow...or, do we become the gaming industry's patsy? The answer is probably the latter.
The gaming industry cannot wait to get its hands on Ohio for several reasons, one such reason is because they know many areas in Ohio are economically depressed---and what can often accompany such depression? You guessed it...Drinking and gambling! Stage set...A great place to help nurture a bad habit tinder box and profit at the same time. Some people would even be prone to spending government help money on gaming!
Ohio can be progressive and unique---and say no to the casino rave--and instead spend the money developing and investing in real jobs and fostering a quality workforce, create high tech family sustaining jobs, green jobs--and maybe a green economy to carry us long into the future--and not develop economies that prey upon and make worse already ill social scenes. Contrary to popular myth, casinos will NOT produce the kind of jobs we need in Ohio for its long term success--instead, produced will be many dead end, low paying service oriented jobs already plentiful. The gambling promoters are like opportunistic vultures waiting to swoop down and feast on the weak and dying--and in a time Ohio is weak, they are opportunists. You can do better than follow the gambling band wagon, Ohio.
P.S. On one last footnote: If you read through the constitutional amendment, the proposal basically sets up a monopoly for an out of state casino operator and also leaves little accountability to assure criminals are not employed or involved with the operation of such an establishment. There are simply way too many loopholes in the proposed amendment. Leave the state constitution alone.