Monday, October 06, 2008

Return of the Dawn of the Night of the Living Dead Amendment

Issue 6, another crack at impoverishing Ohioans through casino gambling. There’s just no killing the notion that we can gamble our way to prosperity.

It ought to give one pause that we’re being asked to amend the state constitution to give one company a monopoly on casino gambling in Ohio (unless some Indian tribe figures out how to get in on the action).

If you’re a supporter of casino gambling – as some of my libertarian friends are – that’s hardly a reason to consign the state to a single provider monopoly. If casinos are the economic magic that their promoters claim, why not add several to every major market in the state?

Of course, that would also spread out the side benefits of casinos – crime, gambling addition, and financial ruin.

And are the promoters of Issue 6 indulging in deceptive advertising? Since deceptive advertising is the lifeblood of the gambling industry, it’s hardly a surpise. As the PD puts it:

"This proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution would ... authorize one privately owned casino ...

"Require the casino to pay a tax of up to 30 percent on its gross receipts for gaming less payouts ...

"Reduce the tax paid by the casino authorized by this amendment to the lesser of the rate taxed on another casino or 25 percent, in the event another casino is permitted in Ohio in the future."
This doesn’t seem like vague language to me. It certainly seems that if an Indian casino was opened at a zero tax rate, our “friends” operating the Worthington casino would experience a huge windfall as their tax drops to zero as well.