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Ohio Casinos ‘A Zero-Sum Game’ According to Issue 3 Study
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An economic study commissioned by Ohio’s bar owners says a casino proposal is a zero-sum game that will simply replace established jobs. The Hiram College Public Policy Research Group released a study Tuesday questioning the jobs promised by the casino plan.
Passage of Issue 3 would allow casinos in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo. Promoters have been advertising that the four new gambling venues would create 34,000 jobs:
TV ad: The Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, Ohio U.A.W and the Ohio A.F.L-C.I.O all endorse Issue 3 because it creates jobs for Ohioans.
Opponents doubt the 34,000 job figure. So does the Hiram College study, which suggests that the number of employees at each casino is inflated by several thousand. Hiram College’s Thomas Pascarella says casinos in surrounding states get by on far fewer workers.
“We have a difficult time understanding why a casino in Ohio would require almost 4,000 jobs when Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Illinois, seem to run casinos without a great deal of difficulty with a thousand jobs,” Pascarella says.
The Hiram College study says the casinos would largely be frequented by locals and would hurt surrounding businesses such as bars. The Ohio Licensed Beverage Association which commissioned the study has characterized Issue 3 as the straw that breaks the camel’s back for Ohio’s restaurants and taverns.