Ohio Measure 3, Casino Gambling (2006)

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The Ohio Casino Gambling Amendment, also known as Issue 3, was on the November 7, 2006 ballot in Ohio as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was defeated.[1] This amendment would have permitted up to 31,500 slot machines at seven horse racing tracks in the state, as well as at two non-track locations in Cleveland.

Election results

Ohio Issue 3 (2006)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No2,286,84056.6%
Yes 1,753,452 43.4%

Election results via the Ohio Secretary of State.[2]

Text of measure

See also: Ohio Constitution, Article II, Section 34a

The language that appeared on the ballot:[3]

To adopt Section 12 of Article XV of the Constitution of the State of Ohio. This amendment to the Constitution would:
  • Permit up to 31,500 slot machines at seven horse racing tracks and at two Cleveland non-track locations. Permit expanded gaming in the four Cuyahoga County locations if approved by the county's voters.
  • Distribute the revenues as follows:

- 55% to the slot and casino owners and operators.

- 30% to the Board of Regents for college scholarships and grants to eligible students and administration of the program.

- The remaining revenues to be divided among local governments, race tracks for purse money, gambling addiction services, and

- The administration of the Gaming Integrity Commission comprised of five members appointed by the governor and the majority legislative leaders.

  • The moneys provided by this amendment are to supplement and not supplant existing and future constitutional obligations to post-secondary education and local governments.

A majority yes vote is necessary for passage. Shall the proposed amendment be adopted? [4]

Support

Arguments in favor

The following reasons were given in support of Issue 3 by the Ohio Learn and Earn Committee:

A “yes” vote on Issue 3 would provide thousands of Ohio’s hard-working high school students with scholarships to Ohio’s colleges and universities. All students will be eligible to earn these scholarships, which would be funded from the proceeds of expanded gambling—slot machines—at the seven commercial horse racing tracks, and at two carefully specified locations in Cleveland’s entertainment district. Issue 3 would also provide new funds for economic development and job creation for communities throughout Ohio.

Unlike the proceeds from the lottery, Learn and Earn scholarship funds would be free from control of politicians who now simply reduce education’s general revenue funds by the amount of lottery proceeds. Issue 3 expressly prohibits the reduction of such funds by providing that the money generated for scholarships and local communities’ economic development will supplement, not supplant, monies currently appropriated for these purposes. The scholarship monies will be placed in individual accounts for Ohio’s primary and secondary school students under the direct control of the Ohio Board of Regents. The legislature will be powerless to divert this money for politicians’ pet projects.

Under Issue 3, the locations and number of slot machines would be strictly limited, and would be regulated by the new Gaming Integrity Commission, which will operate without general revenue tax dollars.

Each year, Ohioans spend billions of dollars on gaming entertainment in neighboring states and Canada. This amendment will help keep that money in Ohio for the benefit of Ohio and its children. Money now spent by Ohioans on gaming in Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia, and Canada (and soon, Pennsylvania), benefits the residents of those places. The money spent by Ohioans on this form of entertainment should benefit Ohioans, not out-of-state interests.

Vote Yes for Ohio’s Children. Vote yes on Issue 3.[4]

The official ballot argument in support of Issue 3 was signed by J. Gregg Haught, David L. Hopcraft and Linda J. Siefkas.

Campaign contributions

The top donors to the "Yes on 3" committee were:[5]

  • The Ohio Legacy Fund, $3.5 million.
  • Jacobs Entertainment, $2.9 million.
  • Forest City Enterprises, $2.8 million.
  • MTR Gaming Group, $2.7 million.
  • Delaware North Gaming, $2.6 million.
  • Heartland Jockey Club, $2.6 million.
  • Penn National Gaming, $2.6 million.
  • Riverdown Race Track, $2.6 million.
  • Thistledown, $2.6 million.
  • Northfield Park, $1.2 million.

Opposition

Arguments against

The following reasons were given in opposition of Issue 2 by Ohioans to Protect Personal Privacy:

Please Vote NO on the Learn and Earn Casino Gambling Amendment. This dishonest plan, filled with loopholes, will not deliver the benefits promised. A handful of casino developers want to use your Constitution for their personal gain, but it will ruin lives.

Why so many are voting NO on Issue 3:

  • Learn and Earn Casinos will create at least 109,000 NEW gambling addicts, ruining the lives of hundreds of thousands of families.
  • Remember the Lottery? It didn’t save Ohio public schools. Learn and Earn Casinos are a bad deal for students, parents, and colleges.
  • Learn and Earn creates a private monopoly for a handful of casino owners. Gambling proceeds are exempted from state and local taxes.
  • Learn and Earn Casinos will place NO money in the Ohio General Revenue Fund- not one dollar for the State Treasury.
  • Issue 3 will not stop Ohioans from traveling to gamble but will grant licenses to out-of state operators and drain more dollars from Ohio.
  • Ohio casinos will drain $2 billion from the local economy costing Ohio jobs.
  • Learn and Earn LOOPHOLES will leave thousands of students without scholarships. There are no guarantees on how much scholarships will be worth or when they will be paid. Only the top 5% of students will qualify for tuition grants which disappear after 12 years.
  • Learn and Earn will push Ohio into a Class III gambling state making it easier for tribal casinos to open in Ohio.
  • Community leaders, elected officials and many Ohio newspapers are urging a “NO” vote on Learn and Earn’s gambling casinos.

Don’t gamble away Ohio’s future. Protect Ohio’s families and children.

Vote NO on ISSUE 3.

[4]

The official ballot argument in opposition of Issue 3 was signed by Betty Montgomery and David Zanotti.

Campaign contributions

The top donors to the opposition campaign were:[6]

  • Carl Linder, $500,000.
  • Wolfe Enterprises, $150,000.
  • Nork, Inc. $100,000.
  • Nationwide Mutual Insurance, $100,000.

See also

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