Everybody get ready because here we go again! According to the Columbus Dispatch, a front group for casino developers, My Ohio Now, has presented signatures to Attorney General Marc Dann for the purpose of qualifying a petition drive to place a referendum on the November 2008 ballot that would permit the opening of a huge gambling casino in Clinton County.
The group will have to collect about 402,000 valid signatures by late August of next year to qualify the referendum for the ballot. So what’s different about this effort? Well having failed to convince people that their kids would get free college by allowing 9 casinos to open in the last effort and also having failed to convince Ohio voters before that that gambling would be somehow lucrative for Ohioans in several past initiatives that would have allowed multiple casino openings, gambling interests have decided to try and convince Ohioans that allowing the camel’s nose in the tent with a single $600,000,000 (!) casino is the way to go.
Watch for red herring arguments like “this will keep Ohio gambling money in Ohio” and “everybody is doing it anyway so let’s keep it here and tax it” and “it’s just good clean fun and nobody is getting hurt.” Ok, so why is a company willing to come to Ohio and spend $600,000,000 to lure gamblers to Clinton County? How much profit is there in gambling? Clearly, a gigantic one! How much of that profit comes from gambling addicts who spend their children’s college money, their retirement funds, their home equity and money they “borrow” from employers to get their fix? How much of the profit comes from the poor, who are seduced by empty promises of big payouts? How many families are destroyed to provide a paltry revenue to the state so they can expand their power and control over our true liberties? What are the actual costs of legalized gambling versus what revenue they generate?
We will be asking these questions as this latest attempt to bring gambling to Ohio progresses. My Ohio Now will not like the questions and will couch their answers in libertarian terms that hide the fact that they will be profiting on man’s weaknesses, his covetousness and his denial of God’s position as our sole provider.