Ohio casino proposal to be on ballot
Ohio: Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has announced that a $1 billion proposal to build four casinos in four Ohio cities (Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Toledo) collected enough valid signatures to put the measure to the vote this November. Her office said in a release that 452,956 valid signatures had been collected for the proposed constitutional amendment, surpassing the minimum required of 402,275. Despite these preliminary approvals, Brunner stated that her office is continuing to investigate allegations of wrongdoing among circulators and may even consider criminal prosecutions. Scioto Downs, an area race track and a subsidiary of MTR Gaming Group Inc., filed a lawsuit last week with the state Supreme Court, claiming among other things that deceased voters' and convicted felons' names and signatures had turned up on petitions.
Supporters of the ballot point to several studies done, most recently at the University of Cincinnati, that the initiative would create more than 34,000 jobs, 15,000 of which will be permanent after the investment and construction phase. The casinos would also provide the four respective cities and their communities with a combined $11 billion over the first five years of operation. Moral opposition to the concept of legalized gambling has most often been the route that opponents have taken, but many have pointed out that state-wide legalization of gambling will benefit mostly, if not only, the major cities towards which the legislation is currently directed.