Casino issue back in the spotlight

Austin Arnold and Austin Arnold

Even though Issue 6 failed last November, one Ohio group is still interested in putting a casino within the state, in fact, more than one. According to the Ohio Jobs and Growth Plan Web site, Ohio voters will have a chance to approve a state constitutional amendment that will call for a casino to be built in the cities of Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo. The amendment, if passed, will also lead to $1 billion in private investment, $200 million in licensing fees, $600 million annually in tax revenue and an estimated 20,000 more jobs. The possibility of new jobs and economic growth through this proposed plan has some people excited. One in particular is Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner. Toledo Public Information Officer Jason Webber released a statement via e-mail concerning Finkbeiner’s stance on the plan. ‘Mayor Finkbeiner has been a staunch supporter of having a casino built on Toledo’s waterfront, since it would undeniably create jobs and further make Toledo’s waterfront the premier entertainment destination of Northern Ohio,’ he said. A casino in Toledo could also provide nearby entertainment for University students. Sophomore Pat Tiesling likes the idea. ‘Yeah, I would probably make a couple of trips up [ to Toledo] if there was a casino. It wouldn’t be a regular thing, but I would go. With the economy the way it is, if it brings jobs, I don’t think it would hurt and it could warrant a spike in revenue,’ he said. However, some are not in favor of a casino being built so close. Sophomore Clayton Meyer believes the negatives a casino brings to a community outweighs the positives. ‘I agree that a casino could create jobs, but I think it would create a lot of problems as well. In areas with casinos, you see a lot more crime and things like that,’ he said. The proposed constitutional language has been sent to State Attorney General Richard Cordray. If he approves, the Ohio Jobs and Growth Committee can start collecting signatures so the issue can be placed on the November ballot. ‘Overall I think it would help the economy.’ Tiesling said. ‘It might take some time to see a benefit because people aren’t spending money right now. I would definitely look into voting for it though.’