Casinos are on Ohio’s ballots again. This time, the proposition is straight forward. Casinos will be approved for four cities: Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton. The Indiana casinos are not fighting it, and one casino near Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland is shovel-ready.
So what’s the argument against casinos this time?
The anti-casino crowd claims that, because no hiring preference is being given to Ohioans, all the jobs will go to out-of-state “licensed” casino workers.
Two words: Bull. Shit.
First off, most casinos anywhere hire locals. Almost all the jobs require no more than a high school education. And the only licenses granted are for the casino operators themselves.
For proof, you need only look thirty miles east of where I’m sitting at Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Do you know what Argosy Casino (since replaced by Hollywood) brought to the area?
You know who they hired?
Indianans. Kentuckians. Ohioans. Yanno, people who, like, live in and around Lawrenceburg?
Let’s go down river a bit to Rising Sun. Hey, whattaya know! A sleepy little Ohio River village suddenly had a lot of jobs to offer. And guess what? Most of them went to locals.
And wow! The same thing happened in Vevay, the next town downriver to get a casino. Yeah, I guess the casino operators in Indiana must be stupid hiring local people who’ve only seen casinos in New Jersey and Atlanta.
Now, do I think 34,000 jobs is a questionable number?
It’s a campaign. What do you think? 34,000 is a giddily optimistic number that translates into “a lot,” which will still be thousands more jobs in Ohio than we have now.
But TruthPac claims, or at least implies, that no one from Ohio would be hired. From a business standpoint, that’s not just foolhardy, it’s criminally stupid.
Bottom line: Either by implication or by direct statement, TruthPac is lying.
Here’s the truth: Casinos bring local jobs. If they bring people in from out of state to work, so much the better. Ohio is suffering a population drain anyway. No one, however, is going to drive more than 50 miles from inside another state to work in a casino here. Last I checked, Cleveland and Columbus were over 50 miles from the nearest state border. Frankly, it’s just not feasible to freeze out local residents anyway. It never happens. [Indian reservations don’t count. Then again, Indian casinos also hire locals. See a trend?]
The crime rate is less likely to go up than is usually stated. Indiana still has a lower crime rate along the Ohio River than Indianapolis. The mob no longer controls Las Vegas, and they haven’t shown much of a presence along the Ohio River. And not every city with casinos is Atlantic City. (But many without them are.) So the crime argument doesn’t wash. Not unless some backroom operator from the bad ol’ days of Newport, Kentucky, is somehow getting Cincinnati’s casino operation. Write off slim, bet on none, and you have the chances of that actually happening.
Casinos attract business. Really, outside of downtown Cleveland or Columbus, what is there to do in Ohio? Watch the Amish make cheese? Ride a couple of roller coasters? Ohio has its attractions, but they don’t compete with California or the Gulf Coast. Let’s be honest. People go where the sin and vice are. And if the sin and vice are clean and regulated, businesses set up shop in the area. Real businesses that hire assembly line workers and accountants and IT workers.
You know. Tax payers. Consumers. Home owners.
Get the picture?
Or you can continue listening to TruthPac lie. The State Board of Elections is. And they have some hard questions.