Buckeye Blues

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 17, 2009 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

The state of Ohio is a hair away from having alternative gambling (slot machines) to fund purses and allow racing to survive. The only problem is that single hair is as thick as the Amazon forest……

Ohio’s Governor Strickland made a bold move and reversed his stance on this type of gaming. What was he to do when his state was floundering, and the unemployment ranks swelling? A real leader sometimes makes the decisions that may not be his first choice, but will benefit the masses.

The racing gods had smiled on us finally. But, then came the lawsuits and a referendum vote in November that may allow full-scale casinos close to the tracks. Just when things began to look good, the eye of the needle was beginning to close on new opportunity.

Overall, things are optimistic. There is a new crinkle in the works. There are no partners who are willing to put up the big money to buy in to the new venture. If they did, and the proposal went south, so would their money. So, we are at the corner of doing nothing and waiting ’til the smoke clears before any investors step up. Believe me, they are out there and are ready to pounce. But, the current climate has put things on hold.

I don’t know if other tracks have this problem in other states. Are we just unlucky, or have others faced the same challenges?

In the end I see racing surviving in the state. The game will flourish, and many jobs will be saved. That is the optimistic view. I shutter to think of the other option, as tracks are falling by the wayside yearly. Just use Kentucky as your model. The state that is known as “The Capitol of Racing” may soon be dethroned. It will be a sad day in racing if this happens. So, no matter on which side of the debate you stand, remember the rich history. Remember the pageantry. Remember the tax revenues and jobs at stake. But use Governor Strickland as your role model. Stand up for what is right, and do what is best for the masses.

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