Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Odds On An Ohio Casino

Once again, the issue of casino gambling is coming up in the state of Ohio as a ballot initiative and because the building of any casino in this state involves changing the state constitution, this will always be the case. Issue 6, or the My Ohio Now Amendment is a proposal for this change to the state constitution in order to build a casino near Wilmington, Ohio (between Columbus and Cincinnati) that could cost up to $600,000,000. This casino will include a hotel, convention facility, and even a golf course on its grounds. Taxes generated by this facility would be paid directly to the counties of the state of Ohio, with the percentage of revenues split according to the relative population of the each respective county. It is estimated by the potential operators of this casino that revenues could be as much as $800 million with $240 million in taxes to be split up. (Of course, these estimates were before the current financial crisis.) The claims for and against are typical. On the negative side
  • Gambling is evil and must be forbidden at all costs!
  • Those addicted to gambling will use money to feed their sick gambling habit instead of their families.
  • The operator is from out of state and local government will have no oversight.
  • Tax revenues distribution will be decided by politicians, bureaucrats, and lobbyists (though someone will have to explain to me when this is not the case).
On the positive side:
  • The building of this casino will bring thousands of temporary construction jobs to Ohio
  • The running of the casino will create many permanent jobs in Ohio.
  • There will be tax revenue produced by the casino that will supplement the budgets of every county in the state (and any tax revenue that they can generate without taking it from me would be welcome indeed).
The most telling issues to me have also been mentioned:
  • The state is already sponsoring gambling through the Lottery, and now the plethora of Keno machines.
  • Those paying for much of the opposition advertising to this amendment are casino operators in Indiana and Michigan whose revenue will be negatively impacted if a casino is built in Ohio.
  • Money is currently leaving the state, as those who wish to gamble take their trade to places where they can.
I am not much of a gambler these days, though I did play a little blackjack in Vegas in years past. Quite frankly I work too hard to earn my money these days to risk it (and I have a really bad poker face). I believe however, that if you want to gamble you will. I likewise believe that if such behavior is going to take place, that the state of Ohio has as much right as any to profit from it. I finally believe that anything that creates jobs, and especially the kind of service jobs that look like they have a possibility of long-term survivability, is definitely a good thing. 

I don't know if Issue 6 is the answer, as it provides for only one casino and one operator in the state. I suspect that it is not a particularly good law. I likewise suspect that Ohio is not ready for more than one casino the first time out of the gate. It may therefore be time that we take a next step into this area, admit that gambling already goes on, and get the state of Ohio into the business of casinos like all of our neighbors. Hey, at least they aren't asking for taxpayer funding to build the damn thing! 

11 comments:

Hooda Thunkit said...

Tim,

Yeah, but...

As written, this proposal stinks to high heaven.

Somebody must have been smoking crack when this deal was dreamed up...

If it were written better, I (also NOT a gambler) would be all for it.

IMNHO ;-)

Tim Higgins said...

HT,

I agree that there are flaws in the initiative, but Ohio seems to be suffering from cranial/rectal inversion where gambling is concerned. I would almost like to see this pass just get us off of the dime and to force someone to fix it.

Antipelagian said...

It doesn't matter how any casino bill is written...I will always vote "no" on the grounds it is immoral.

As a business, it produces *nothing*.

Tim Higgins said...

Antipelagian,

Your freedom to vote in whatever way you choose is both your right and responsibility, as are your morals; but please do not expect the rest of society to accept them blindly. That denies the rest of us that very same freedom.

sonsofissachar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Antipelagian said...

Tim,

I don't expect you to accept my moral framework blindly. To be honest, I'm not sure how I denied anyone else their freedom.

If gambling is a moral issue, then there is something to be said for voting against casinos. I didn't care to argue my point, I only desired to state my reason for voting against this issue.

Tim Higgins said...

Well let's see...

You are using two pseudonymns, which would make me suspicious to start with, but more importantly you expect me to accept your definition of morality as correct, and your judgment of gambling as a consequence of this morality.

Morality, unlike ethics, is based on personal opinion and the timeframe which produces it. It is not an unchanging thing like ethics. When you attempt to claim the moral high ground on this subject, you take away discussion and become the modern day version of the Spanish Inquisition. This is unacceptable (but thanks for trying).

Antipelagian said...

I accidently logged into a different google account...I have plans for doing things with that other blog, just not yet. Sorry if that was confusing.

I'm a bit confused about your comment when you say:
Morality, unlike ethics, is based on personal opinion and the timeframe which produces it. It is not an unchanging thing like ethics.

I would disagree that morality is based on personal opinion...but let's say you're right. When you say:
When you attempt to claim the moral high ground on this subject, you take away discussion and become the modern day version of the Spanish Inquisition. This is unacceptable

This is "unacceptable"? Well, that's you're opinion.

Tim Higgins said...

Antipelagian,

Go back and look up both morals and ethics in the dictionary, then check a few history texts about what has been "moral" in some cultures in the past and what is considered "moral" in other cultures today. I believe the lack of historical and cultural consistency proves my point.

As for my lack of blind acceptance of your morality as my own, that is, like your definitions of what is moral, my opinion.

Antipelagian said...

Tim
Go back and look up both morals and ethics in the dictionary, then check a few history texts about what has been "moral" in some cultures in the past and what is considered "moral" in other cultures today.

While I look up morals and ethics feel free to look up the logical fallacy of "begging the question".

Really, all you're saying is that different people/cultures have behaved in different ways in the past. That doesn't prove anything unless you're *assuming* from the outset that morality is *already dependent* upon the culture it arises from...hence, the "argument" is circular since you're only assuming what you're supposed to be proving.

As for my lack of blind acceptance of your morality as my own, that is, like your definitions of what is moral, my opinion.

Hence, your assertion that my inquisition-like approach is "unacceptable" is merely *your opinion*. By your own standard I could enforce my opinion on whomever and not really be doing anything wrong.

Dawn said...

I found it mildly humorous that part of the so-called funding of this issue would go to gambling addiction....geez, that's an oxymoron to my way of thinking... I'm not a gambler myself either, but I would completely support a casino initiative that would actually benefit Ohio..... I do not believe Issue 6 in this election will do that.