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2009 Ohio Gaming Ballot Measure Follow-up

11 November 2009
Written by

Follow-up on Ohio Gaming Ballot Measures:

For the first time in twenty years  Ohio citizens voted to shuffle-up and deal, passing Issue 3 on November 3rd, a gaming initiative making Ohio the 39th state to allow casino gambling. This came as a surprise, as Ohio voters have rejected casino proposals four times since 1990. However, the biggest difference between the initiative proposed in 2008 and this year's Issue 3 is where the revenue goes: Issue 3 directs a certain percentage of casino revenues to Ohio public schools, an option that has been absent from Ohio casino initiatives in the previous twenty years. The proposed amendment to the Ohio constitution allows for casinos to be built in the state's four major cities: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo.

Supporters of the initiative, like groups such as Yes On 3, claimed its passage would create 34,000 new jobs, at least $1 billion in private investment, $651 million annually for schools and local and state programs, and $200 million in licensing fees.

Opposition to the ballot measure, from groups like Vote No Casinos, argued that Issue 3 would create a private monopoly controlled by four casino owners, as well as levying a hidden tax on citizens for the cost of infrastructure.

The trend of relaxing gaming laws is not relegated to Ohio. Each of Ohio's bordering states, except Kentucky, have allowed for casino gambling, and many other states have recently passed or proposed gaming expansion legislation including:

-Stefan Johansson, Research

Related tags: 2009-election, ballot-measures, blog, elections, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, South-Dakota

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