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Smart Voter
State of Ohio November 3, 2009 Election
Issue 3
Proposed Constitutional Amendment to Amend the Constitution to Allow for One Casino Each In Cincinnati, Cleveland,Columbus, and Toledo and Distribute to All Ohio Counties A Tax on the Casinos
State of Ohio

Consitutional Amendment - Majority Approval Required

See Also: Index of all Issues

Information shown below: Summary | Arguments |

Proposed by Initiative Petition To adopt Section 6 to Article XV of the Constitution of the State of Ohio This proposed amendment would:

1. Authorize only one casino facility at a specifically designated location within each of the cities of Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo.

2. Levy a fixed tax of 33% of gross casino revenue received by each casino operator of the four casino facilities.

3. Distribute the casino tax as follows:

  • 51% among all 88 counties in proportion to such counties' respective populations. Half of each county's distribution will go to its largest city if that city's population is above 80,000.
  • 34% among all public school districts
  • 5% among all host cities
  • 3% to the Ohio casino control commission
  • 3% to the Ohio state racing commission fund
  • 2% to a state law enforcement training fund
  • 2% to a state problem gambling and addictions fund

4. Require each initial licensed casino operator to pay a single $50,000,000 fee to be used for state job training purposes and make a minimum initial investment of $250,000,000 in its facility.

5. Permit approved types of casino gaming authorized by Michigan, West Virginia, Indiana, and Pennsylvania as of January 1, 2009 or games subsequently authorized by those states.

6. Authorize the casinos to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at the discretion of the casino operator and require that the casino facilities shall be subject to all state and local laws and provisions related to health and building codes, but that no local zoning, land use laws, subdivision regulations or similar provisions shall prohibit the development or operation of the casinos at the designated sites.

7. Create the Ohio casino control commission which will license and regulate casino operators, management companies retained by such casino operators, key employees, gaming-related vendors, and all gaming authorized by this constitutional provision. A "YES" vote means you approve of amending the Ohio Constitution to permit one casino each in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo. A "NO" vote means you disapprove of amending the Ohio Constitution to permit one casino each in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo. A majority YES vote is required for the amendment to be adopted. SHALL THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT BE APPROVED? YES NO

Summary Prepared by League of Women Voters of Ohio:
LWVO Explanation of Issue 3: This amendment would authorize four casinos, one each in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo, located on particular parcels of land owned by private individuals. The operator would be required to pay a tax of 33% annually on gross casino receipts. "Gross casino receipts" excludes payments to winners. The tax revenue would be allocated in the following ways: 51% to the 88 counties on a pro rata basis, with 50% of the county's distribution going to the county's most populated city if it had a population of greater than 80,000 as of the 2000 United States census. 34% to public school districts in proportion to their public school district populations. 5% to the host city where the casino that generated the revenue is located. 3% to fund the Ohio Casino Control Commission. 3% to a fund supporting purses, breeding programs and operations at existing horse racetracks. 2% to fund a state law enforcement training program. 2% to fund treatment of problem gambling and substance abuse. The Ohio Casino Control Commission would license and regulate casino operators, management companies, key employees and all gaming. The commission would have 7 members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. Each casino operator must make a minimum initial investment of $250 million. The initial license fee of $50 million for each casino will fund state economic development programs. Each casino could operate 24 hours a day. Each casino may have a maximum of 5000 slot machines. Each casino may conduct any type of card or table games, slot machines or electronic gaming devices permitted by states adjacent to Ohio, except bingo, and horse racing where the pari-mutuel system of wagering is conducted.

  Official Information

Secretary of State

  • Ohio Issues Report (PDF) - State Issue Ballot Information for the November 2009 Election as prepared by the Ohio Ballot Board.
Nonpartisan Information

League of Women Voters

News and Analysis

Google News Search

General Links

Yes on 3
A website in favor of Issue 3

A website opposed to Issue 3
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Arguments For Issue 3 Arguments Against Issue 3
Proponents of the proposed amendment argue:
1. Thirty-eight states -- including Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania -- have casino gambling.
2. By authorizing casinos in Ohio, the profits could benefit our state rather than other states.
3. Counties, public school districts, and many cities will receive tax revenue generated by the casinos, and each can decide how to best spend its money.
4. The casinos will create 34,000 new jobs in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo.
5. The casinos will stimulate the economy by adding restaurants, hotels and ancillary businesses.

Opponents of the proposed amendment argue:
1. The Ohio general revenue fund, which supports basic services for Ohioans, will get $0 from the gross casino receipts tax.
2. Ohio lottery profits, currently dedicated to education, may decrease because people will gamble at the casinos instead of playing the lottery.
3. Ohioans may spend money at the casinos they would have spent at other existing Ohio businesses such as restaurants, movies, or sports events, adversely impacting those businesses.
4. The number of gambling addicts in Ohio would increase, and the tax receipts dedicated to providing treatment for addicts could be insufficient.
5. The proposed amendment could be construed to mean that all games allowed at the casinos can be played only at the casinos, eliminating church-festival poker games and casino nights sponsored by charitable groups.

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Created: December 29, 2009 12:12 PST
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