Someone is spending millions of dollars to try to stop Issue 6, the casino gambling amendment to the state constitution from passing. Why is that?
Sure, we are on the seam of the Bible Belt, but I doubt that the Christian Right has that kind of money to spend in Ohio, especially when there are so many other things they are concerned about this year on the national level. Only those who would profit from an Issue 6 defeat would spend that kind of money on such an extensive, negative media campaign. And that would be those who are currently getting Ohio's gambling bucks and stand to lose them if it passes. I have been on that bus to Indiana. I have been on that smoky river barge.
So what is that tax loophole that neither side is willing to specify? It boils down to one politically incorrect word, “Indian.” Casinos on American Indian tribal land in other states do not pay taxes. That is a fact. However, even if the State of Ohio does not collect one red cent in tax money directly from the casino's operation, there is another word that signifies why the issue should pass, “jobs.” In a state where the number of jobs is declining daily, how can we afford to pass up the opportunity to create 5,000 permanent jobs and another 5,000 during the casino/resort's construction? The number of permanent jobs created may even go beyond that. All kinds of cottage businesses from gas stations to convenience stores to restaurants are likely to pop up around an attraction that will draw patrons from Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus and perhaps beyond. Those businesses and employees who work for them and at the casino/resort will pay state income tax.
My one regret is that this is a constitutional amendment. I am against amending the State and U.S. Constitutions every time we turn around. I prefer that we handle specific matters, such as this, through normal legislation. If we need a constitutional amendment to permit casino gambling in the state, so be it. But, I would prefer a more general amendment, accompanied by legislation to cover the specific situation in Wilmington, where the casino will be built. I guess that would take longer. Time is not on our side. Just ask the folks in Wilmington and Morraine.
That having been said, I have a personal reason for wanting Issue 6 to pass. I would like to see a casino operational in Wilmington, which is about a half-hour to 40 minute drive from here, ASAP. Did I mention that I have been on that bus to Indiana? That's a long ride.