*

*
Politics Extra
Enquirer reporters give the scoop on what your politicians are doing


Jessica Brown,
Hamilton County reporter


Jon Craig,
Enquirer statehouse bureau


Jane Prendergast,
Cincinnati City Hall reporter


Malia Rulon,
Enquirer Washington bureau


Carl Weiser,
Blog editor


Howard Wilkinson,
politics reporter

Powered by Blogger

Monday, February 18, 2008

Berding: Let's Vote On Gambling

UPDATED:

Jon Craig and Jane Prendergast report in Tuesday's Enquirer:

As Kentucky moves toward possibly opening 12 casinos - including a pair in Northern Kentucky - efforts to bring casinos to Ohio escalated Monday.

- Cincinnati City Councilman Jeff Berding announced that he wants the Ohio General Assembly to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to allow full casino gambling at any Ohio county that borders a state with gambling.

- MyOhioNow, a group that wants to build a casino in Clinton County, opened offices at Tri-County Mall in Springdale and elsewhere in the region, while reminding Cincinnatians they will continue to lose money and jobs to Indiana and Kentucky gambling interests if they don’t act now.

Berding wants Ohio legislators to move quickly on a constitutional amendment for the Nov. 4 ballot – a rival amendment to MyOhioNow’s. It also would affect every Ohio county that borders a state with legalized gambling: Indiana, West Virginia; Michigan and Pennsylvania.

State Sen. Bill Seitz, a Republican from Green Township, said it will be difficult -- but not impossible -- for the Ohio legislature to pass Berding’s proposal. The Ohio General Assembly already is dealing with some major issues, including an energy bill, and might not want to place a competing gambling issue on the fall ballot. because of the Myohionow vote. Also, a three-fifths “supermajority” of legislators would have to pass it – requiring 59 of 99 votes in the Ohio House and 20 of 33 votes in the Ohio Senate.

“Given the fact that the legislative calendar is fairly full, I don’t hold a great deal of hope that this would get certified to the ballot in time to vote on it in 2008,’’ Seitz said Monday. “And the risk of having competing (gambling) proposals is that they both fail.’’

In October, the state legislature voted to ban electronic gambling -- like Tic Tac Fruit machines -- anywhere in Ohio, but Gov. Ted Strickland recently proposed allowing Keno gambling devices at bars, horse tracks and elsewhere.

Berding announced his Gaming Economic Protection Response Act Monday, saying it’s important because Kentucky appears ready to move forward with a proposal for full casino gaming and Ky. Gov. Steve Beshear’s proposal includes two casinos in either Campbell or Kenton counties - "both separated from the city of Cincinnati and Hamilton County by only the Ohio River."

An approval of casinos in Northern Kentucky, Berding’s motion says, "is a direct economic threat" to Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Berding said the city’s recent investments in an expanded convention center, renovated Fountain Square and stadiums are at risk if tourists and other money follows casinos t o Northern Kentucky.

"Cincinnati and Hamilton County voters should be given the opportunity to decide if we want to respond on our own, and we call on the members of the General Assembly to help us defend ourselves," Berding said. "Put it to a vote."

Berding also supported the 2006 constitutional amendment that would have legalized up to 31,500 slog machines statewide. It would have allowed owners of seven horse tracks, including River Downs in Anderson Township and Lebanon Raceway in Warren County to install 3,500 slot machines at each location. Ohio voters rejected the measure.

Dr. Bradford Pressman, one of the co-founders of MyOhioNow, the group that is collecting signatures to put an initiative on the Ohio ballot on Nov. 4, proposes a $600 million casino and resort near Wilmington, 18 miles north of Kings Island.

“We are hoping that Cincinnati steps up to support this proposal that will offer 5,000 jobs,’’ Pressman said. “Can Cincinnati withstand the continuing drain of the Indiana casinos compounded with 12 casinos in Kentucky?”

Co-founder Rick Lertzman said MyOhioNow has hired more than 150 signature gatherers in the Cincinnati region to help get the issue on the November ballot. Their website is http://www.myohionow.com/

Berding hopes to get his colleagues on council to vote on his motion next week.

"The net result of this effort would be that if KY voters approve their casino gambling plan that calls for a casino directly across the river in an adjoining county, then Hamilton County could vote to decide if we choose to respond to these efforts with up to 2 casinos of our own," Berding wrote in an email this afternoon. "If KY voters reject the plan, then a local option would not kick into effect."

Berding also supported the 2006 constitutional amendment that would have legalized up to 31,500 slog machines statewide. It would have allowed owners of seven horse tracks, including River Downs in Anderson Township and Lebanon Raceway in Warren County install 3,500 slot machines in each. Voters rejected the measure.


29 Comments:

at 3:06 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't Dearborn County (IN) already have casino gambling? Doesn't that county border Hamilton County? Where was Berding when casinos popped up in Indiana?

 
at 3:10 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Rick said...

"a constitutional amendment for the November ballot that would allow full casino gaming in any Ohio county bordering a state that allows gambling"

Doesn't Hamilton County already border a state which allows casino gambling - Indiana.

What kind of lie is "Berding wrote in an email this afternoon. 'If KY voters reject the plan, then a local option would not kick into effect.'"

 
at 3:19 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

berding wasn't on council when those casinos were built in indiana!

 
at 3:20 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Berding was notin office ten years ago when gambling was introduced in Indiana. Unlike most Ohioans, Mr Berding is trying to bring both Hamilton County and Cincinnati into the 21st century. If cincinnati wants to compete with KY we have to be as progressive and stop dragging our feet on issues to improve our city.

 
at 3:24 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the Freedom Center is always asking for money, move them to Union Terminal.
Retrofit the current FC to be a riverfront casino. You wouldn't need another door; the gamblers will find there way in by the thousands and donate part of the proceeds to keep the FC afloat.
Two problems solved!

 
at 3:24 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Vicky said...

Anytime you write something about Jeff Berding, we all know we'll be hearing from that looney Funneytown clown Bill Joiner shortly. Kind of ironic, he doesn't even live in Cincinnati but he spouts off about City of Cincinnati politics. He doesn't live in OH-02 but he constantly crazes about OH-02 also. He needs to get a life. What an embarassment he is to the Hamilton County dems.

 
at 3:24 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many times do casinos/gambling have to be voted down by the voters before they take the hint?

 
at 3:33 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff is, obviously, right. If Ky gets a casino that giant sucking sound will be dollars going to Kentucky...in addition to what already goes to Indiana.

How about putting it at 5th and Race and connecting it to the Convention Center? Or, better yet, the Freedom Center will be closed by then.

 
at 3:46 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is so wrong with casino's? We have had bingo's,lotteries, and other forms of gambling for over 100 years. What so wrong with keeping the monies that are going to Indiana or Michigan in our own state. Has anyone everlooked at the winners listing? Largest amount of winners are from the state of Ohio, lets keep the funds in are own state.

 
at 3:48 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The opportunity to bring money into this city needs to be voted on because we are not growing financially. We lost the Levy, Casinos and huge revenue. If you disagree with the options than I suggest you run for office and come up with a better opportunities and don't let raising my taxes be one of them.

 
at 3:49 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's going to be a casino along the ohio river whether you like it or not. Wouldn't you rather have that money go to Cincinnati than to Kentucky?

 
at 4:00 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cincinnati cannot agree on something as simple as the Banks Project. Do they honestly expect to come to some agreement on casinos? Berding is overestimating the abilitiy of our leaders' to act quickly and compromise. Plus, didn't a similar vote fail when they were trying to get casinos at the River Downs?

 
at 4:05 PM, February 18, 2008 Blogger Keith said...

Excellent idea! True leadership.

 
at 4:17 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Cincinnati cannot agree on something as simple as the Banks Project." anonymous 4:00 PM, February 18, 2008

... They do agree on the Banks agreement! lol.

 
at 4:25 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Dan said...

Kentucky has only 4 counties that sell alcohol ! Daaaa did everyone forget about the BIBLE BELT... as in the past they will VOTE NO and continue to control the state.

 
at 4:37 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan,

I have not checked this out thoroughly, but I have bought alcohol in Campbell, Kenton, and Boone counties as well as in Lexington and Louisville. You may want to check that fact again...

 
at 4:44 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes we need this for job's

 
at 4:49 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The city of Cincinnati is trying to renovate downtown and so they want to bring in casinos? Umm...I am not the brightest bulb on the planet but it would seem to me that gambling would encourage the very image of being run down by providing another form of addiction. Oh wait, money is involved...

Why in the world would we need casinos in OH? Is there nothing else to do in this state? Sad...

 
at 4:59 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

to "anon 4:49"...
wouldn't you rather have that money coming into ohio than going into kentucky? wouldn't you rather have those jobs being created here in ohio than being created in kentucky? people will gamble regardless of where they casinos are. ohio will suffer because if those casinos are in kentucky.

 
at 6:22 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey "Dan", a simple fact check: of KY's 120 Counties, 71 are dry and 49 sell alcohol.

And to all of you clown who think that casinos are going to end all of our financial woes, WAKE UP. When there are casinos in NKY, Indiana and in Cincinnati there will be more casinos than the area can support. It's like the day after prohibition ends, the first couple of liquor stores to open do big business. But once there is a liquor store on every corner, nobody does any business.

 
at 7:42 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hook up gambling with education and jail funding and you have a winner! Berding has some sense... not to mention some guts. This city will continue to be a "dead" zone without sound leadership with a vision beyond goofey special interest groups.

 
at 8:21 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I were going to model a downtown casino off of any other it would be Harrah's in New Orleans. It is a very class casino and has a great location, bridging together the French Quarter and the warehouse district (I think that is right?).

 
at 8:47 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:49 I agree that you're not the brightest bulb, but don't you think the Ohio Lottery is gambling?
Check out the license plates in the Argosy Casino parking lot; lots of Ohio plates. And Lawrenceburg is rebuilding their downtown area with the new found gambling cash.

 
at 9:26 PM, February 18, 2008 Blogger Daniel Finch said...

Bottom line is...if it cuts into the Lottery Commission's revenue, it will never fly in Ohio. The Skill Games did and now they're out...but wait, Strickland now has a great idea - Keno in the bars to take the place of the skill games.

I used to be a proud Ohioan, and will not again until some common sense moves back into Columbus and they check their personal agendas at the door and decide what is best for Ohio and our budget.

 
at 11:12 PM, February 18, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

i will play my $$ in Indiana you can smoke there so ohio still dont get it

 
at 8:00 AM, February 19, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose if everyone else has them, we should. Don't fool yourselves about the economic development benefit, though. The giant sukcing sound everyone mentions is from the $ being sucked from gambler's wallets into the pockets of out-of-state casino owners - they're the only real winners. There is little spin-off economic activity generated by casinos. They are designed to get you there, keep you there, have you spend your money there, and then leave ... broke.

 
at 8:09 AM, February 19, 2008 Anonymous lions and tigers and bears, oh my said...

run for the hills, don't look back or you'll be turned into a pillar of salt.

its about time cincinnati and ohio caught up with the rest of the world. if you don't want to gamble then don't, but stop forcing your religion on everybody else.

 
at 9:48 AM, February 20, 2008 Anonymous JFD said...

anon 6:22 "And to all of you clown who think that casinos are going to end all of our financial woes, WAKE UP. When there are casinos in NKY, Indiana and in Cincinnati there will be more casinos than the area can support."

The casinos that will suffer are the ones that don't have Cincinnati's population to support them. I think the Freedom Center building will make a great casino; at least as a casino it will contribute to the Cinti economy rather than be a constant drain.

 
at 12:43 PM, February 21, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

This act must say vote for casinos only in counties where Horse tracks are located. The two tracks in Columbus are not near the border of Pa. nor are the two Cleveland tracks there inland. Only Toledo track is in a county next to Michigan. To get state support this change must be made.

 
Post a Comment*

Links to this post:

Create a Link

* Our online blogs currently are hosted and operated by a third party, namely, Blogger.com. You are now leaving the Cincinnati.Com website and will be linked to Blogger.com's registration page. The Blogger.com site and its associated services are not controlled by Cincinnati.Com and different terms of use and privacy policy will apply to your use of the Blogger.com site and services.

By proceeding and/or registering with Blogger.com you agree and understand that Cincinnati.Com is not responsible for the Blogger.com site you are about to access or for any service you may use while on the Blogger.com site.

<< Home


Blogs
Jim Borgman
Today at the Forum
Paul Daugherty
Politics Extra
N. Ky. Politics
Pop culture review
Cincytainment
Who's News
Television
Roller Derby Diva
Art
CinStages Buzz....
The Foodie Report
cincyMOMS
Classical music
John Fay's Reds Insider
Bengals
High school sports
NCAA
UC Sports
CiN Weekly staff
Soundcheck