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Mayor Jackson Bet the Wrong Hand, Casino Opponents Counter
September 07 2006

Rob Walgate, 440-572-1796

Cleveland, Ohio–Vote No Casinos, the committee opposing Casino Gambling Issue #3, issued the following statement today regarding Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s announced endorsement of casino gambling.

“We are not surprised by the position Mayor Jackson has taken,” stated David Zanotti, co-chair of Vote No Casinos and President of the Ohio Roundtable. “The Cleveland Casino Cartel continues to put a tremendous amount of political pressure on the Mayor. Ohio Ballot Issue #3 is not the panacea Mayor Jackson has been promised. In fact, the Learn and Earn Casino proposal is a sure bet to do Cleveland and Northeast Ohio significant harm for the following reasons:

Issue #3 is an attempt by a handful of Cleveland casino developers to hijack the state constitution and create their own privately-held casino monopoly. The developers are writing their addresses into the state constitution and taking 55% off the top.

The money promised to Mayor Jackson is based on 2 billion dollars being drained from the Ohio economy. That economic drain will cost jobs in Cleveland, not create them.

The Mayor’s support for Issue 3 threatens the lives and health of Cleveland families he promised to protect. Gambling proponents readily admit that Ohio casinos will create at least 109,000 new addicts. These ruined lives will be calling on City Hall and Cleveland’s resources.

Only 1% of the gambling revenues in Issue #3 are dedicated to gambling addiction services. This fractional contribution will not begin to cover the social and economic costs created by new local gambling addicts. Many of the dollars dedicated to addiction services are coming directly out of the pockets of gambling addicts in the first place. That’s like shaking down homeless people to buy them a cup of coffee.

Issue #3 has a trap door for local communities. It prohibits any future state and local taxes against casino proceeds, creating a permanent tax exemption for two Cleveland casinos.

The notion that Issue #3 language can prevent the General Assembly from reducing state funding to Cleveland is arguable if not preposterous. The Ohio Constitution clearly places the General Assembly in control of the Ohio General Revenue Fund and all appropriations. Promising that legalizing casinos will exempt the city of Cleveland from any future state budget cuts is irresponsible and dangerous.

If this notion were true – then every surrounding community in Greater Cleveland will be at serious risk for greater state spending cuts and potential tax increases because only casino communities have their state funding protected by Issue #3.”

Vote No Casinos is the Ohio committee opposing State Ballot Issue #3, the Learn and Earn Casino Gambling Amendment. The Committee is co-chaired by Betty D. Montgomery, Auditor of State and David Zanotti, President of the Ohio Roundtable. The Committee is a tri-partisan effort supported by Democrat, Republican and Independent statewide and community leaders and organizations.

For interview information, please contact Rob Walgate at the offices of the Ohio Roundtable, 1.800.522.VOTE.

Issued by Vote NO Casinos, 3121 Bay Landing Dr., Bay Village, OH 44145, Mark Mattson, Treasurer.

For information on the "Learn and Earn Ohio" proposal, click here.

To learn more about the "Opposition to Learn and Earn Ohio, Ohio Issue 3 slots and the Vote No Casinos Committee, click here.