Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Does Ohio Need Casinos ?
Leave the casinos to Las Vegas. They do it right. Low end casino towns, like Deadwood suck.
If you just want to gamble, get a game going with your friends or coworkers.
The latest push for a casino in Ohio is coming out of Wilmington, which is getting creamed by the abandonment of a major employer, DHL.
Las Vegas was built into a success a long time ago by people that Wilmingtonians would not want for neighbors. Las Vegas, today, is a result of that success built upon by big entertainment corporations. What Wilmington, or any location in Ohio, would get with a casino, is, basically, a bone from the entertainment moguls that would provide low paying jobs to locals and siphon off the lion's share o the cash while leaving Ohio and Wilmington holding the bill for infrastructure improvements and public services.
A smarter location in Ohio would be on Ohio's northern lakefront, southern riverfront or in south east Ohio's hills. That is, areas that have natural attractions tourists want. But the tiny profit and large headaches would still be the same.
If Ohio really wants to succeed in the tourist trade, it should legalize marijuana. Still, most of the jobs in the tourist industry just don't pay all that well and, frequently don't provide much in the way of employment for older people.
Ohio, and it's cities need to focus on using and marketing their resources. Cincinnati is right to have a major focus on the downtown areas of OTR, CBD & the Banks. OTR, in particular represents an old neighborhood that is still salvageable but would be impossible to re-create.
Ohio should focus more on new industrial jobs. First Solar has recently announced plans to expand and add jobs in Perrysburg. Renewable energy would be a great industry for Ohio. It would create jobs, it's adoption could lower energy costs, making the cost of living and doing business in the state more palatable. A cleaner environment would aid in tourism, the agriculture industry and cut health care costs.
Expanding and diversifying our agricultural industry (what Ohio was built on) is crucial. Agriculture for energy is one idea, focusing on specialty stuff like Alpacas is another.
I offer no quick fixes, no "jackpots", but with some work, dedication and investment in things that are already somewhat in place, Ohio can do a lot better in the long run than by looking to casinos for band-aids.

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