Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Commissioners to back casino

Commissioners to back casino | | The Cincinnati Enquirer

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It was that long ago that having a casino was anathema to most Ohioans. Now with the continued loss of jobs combined with the brain-drain of college graduates, casinos are finding new allies in the Buckeye state. One of the biggest criticisms - that most of the casino jobs would go to workers from outside Ohio - doesn't have the steam it once did. If the 34,000 jobs claimed by developers is correct, that is 34,000 jobs that don't presently exist in Ohio. It doesn't matter who gets those jobs, those workers will become Ohio residents paying Ohio taxes. I'm not a gambler and doubt I will spend much time at a casino (I have yet to go to any of the casinos in SW Indiana). I wrote about safety and security concerns about a casino in Wilmington that may not have had a corresponding increase in fire, police and EMS. Depending on the location, the impact of first responders may remain a problem especially with some many departments experiencing layoffs. After reading another bloggers post about the casinos, I agree another problem with the casino issue won't be the casino itself as much as in the execution. Las Vegas has casinos combined with restaurants and show places. Even if you don't gamble, you can still enjoy Las Vegas. The Ohio casino can't be a stand alone location. Other non-gaming related venues have to be attracted to build adjacent to the casino. Branson, MO is successful not because of its location as much as its ability to attract a multitude of entertainment venues. Ohio should follow this model when building its casinos.

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