Columbus Casino Move Campaign Proved Expensive

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The effort to move the Columbus casino from the Arena District to the city’s west side proved expensive.

The campaign Vote Yes on Issue 2 spent more than $3.9 million to get voters to approve the change in address of the Columbus casino. The efforts paid off when Issue 2 passed last month.

More than $4.2 million was contributed to the campaign. Penn National Gaming, which owns the casino, was the largest contributor with more than $2 million in donations. Nationwide Realty Investors contributed more than $1 million dollars. American Electric Power donated $500,000. Wolfe Enterprises Incorporated, a Columbus Dispatch holding company, contributed $400,000. And the Dispatch Printing Company contributed more than $68,000 worth of advertising for the campaign.

Some smaller contributors included Ohio State University president E. Gordon Gee and Central Ohio Transit Authority president Bill Lhota who each gave $250.

There is about $139,000 left over after the expenses were paid. Issue 2 Campaign spokesperson Bob Tenenbaum said the balance will be saved in case of any outstanding debts or it could be returned to contributors.

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