Great Lakes Journal: Ohio is broke, but gambling is not the answer


This year Ohio, like many states, has a huge hole in its budget; $3.2 billion, give or take. To help fill the crater, the Governor and legislature just rammed through a bill to allow slot machines at seven horse tracks, despite the long history of Ohioans voting down gambling proposals. (Governor Strickland made sure this proposal never saw a ballot.) To balance Ohio's new two-year, $50.5 billion budget, the state projects revenue from these slots of $933 million per year.

The opposition to this measure,, has been vocal about its position but resolutely mute about the source of its funding. Tellingly, the opposition to an upcoming casino bill is backed by MTR Gaming Group (MNTG), which owns racinos -- race tracks which have casinos -- in Pennsylvania and West Virginia and wants Ohioans to continue crossing the Ohio River to gamble.