Keep ‘Em In The Dark

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 4, 2009 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

Ohio has become the 13th state to allow casino gambling. The best move on the part of the movement that supported the measure, is that they did not clearly define who would benefit. Would it be an outside casino interest, or would it be the racing industry?

Today, at the track where I work, there was a bevy of callers who wished us congratulations. The bill was for land-based casinos to be put into four locations in Ohio. It had NOTHING to do with casinos or VLT’s at tracks.

I have many friends who are smart, intelligent people. They were confused by the issue, and didn’t know who would benefit. The issue passed at 53% – 47%. Even as close as it was, I have to say that it was not the $30 million plus in advertising. It was keeping the people in the dark. They never once kept the issue separate from VLT’s at the race tracks….. Penn Gaming and Dan Gilbert, who owns the Cleveland Cavaliers, slid one around the backdoor and took it to the hoop..

They spent six times the amount of their opponent, and it still came down to keeping the people in the dark. I have had three calls at home tonight, and many said they would not have voted if they knew the truth. Too late..

Rep. Clyde Evans said he wants to change the tax structure to 60%, from the agreed upon 33%. I think the exact words that he said were,”I don’t think the people knew what they were voting on.” Finally, some truth…  I don’t mind if your issue of favor does pass with integrity, but to slide it in the backdoor is a different animal. By the way, he was a big supporter of the plan.

Now, the big question is how long will racing stay afloat? How long before a 100-year industry is put out to pasture? This was a bad deal. The people are the losers, and the racing game will be a memory… And in the meantime, there is no real deadline for casinos, other than sometime in late 2012. I can hear the dice rolling now, or is that in three years?

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