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Ohio Roundtable: The Public Square - Casinos Fail in PA & OH

Casinos Fail in PA & OH

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The Gambling industry was convinced 2003 would be the year they would finally open casinos in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The head of Mountaineer Casinos was even making public statements about how much he was investing in political contributions to guarantee success. Media pundits and industry analysts were certain this would be the year. The down economy and state budget woes would finally push gambling past all opposition. And once again - the experts were wrong.

Gambling measures failed to even reach a vote in the Ohio Legislature. They passed in Pennsylvania, and then failed as greedy proponents went to war over how they would divide the gambling spoils. In both cases - it was significant public opposition that built the platform for defeat.

Is the fight now over? Hardly. Should it be? Of course.

But as long as the gambling industry claims big profits across the nation they will continue to offer big contributions to politicians and fat salaries to lobbyists and paid consultants. And that group will keep stirring the pot and trying to find a way around the common sense of hard working citizens.

So if you care about an honest economy. If you are tired of lottery commercials and political whining about gambling revenues, if you would like visit a convenient store and not stand in line behind scratch ticket addicts, then please - stay vigilant. The gambling industry will be back maybe this fall; maybe next year. But they will be back as long as there are people left willing to believe the lie that getting lucky is better than an honest day's work.

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