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Tue Mar 4, 2014, 09:52 PM

Once The New Dayton Racino Closes, What Do You Think Should Go Into Its Place?

Numbers are starting to come in from what can only be called the Great Ohio Descent Into Economic Desperation and Abject Madness of the Beginning of the 21st Century.

Or, in laymen’s term’s: The Ohio Casino movement.

Projected revenue for the first full year of operations for all four gambling destinations thus far in Ohio (Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland and Toledo) are falling woefully short of what promoters of gambling in Ohio said they would draw. Through the end of January, the casinos drew about $772 million according to the Ohio Casino Control Commission. Those figures are far short of the 2009 campaign promising voters that revenues could be as high as $1.9 billion annually, with $651 million in annual tax revenues.

Cincinnati’s casino projected it would draw $300 million in its first year, equalling $100 million in taxes. Through the end of January, the casino’s revenues were at $200.7 million, which amounts to about $66 million in taxes collected. The Queen City budgeted for nearly $14 million in revenue during its biennial budget but has revised that to $10 million. Cleveland received $2 million less in revenue than it expected this year and is budgeting for less revenue in next year’s budget to prevent another shortfall.

Of the four casinos, Columbus’ Hollywood Casino has been the biggest under performer this year. Promoters of gambling in Ohio projected that the casino would bring in $381.7 million annually in revenue. Instead, the casino, owned by Penn National Gaming, is expected to bring about $215 million to $220 million this year.

With more Casino/Racinos to come online soon, the revenue problem with casinos only looks to get worse. Ohio is already over-saturated with Casinos, and is going to be even more over saturated.

When Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley told me that she supported the project because people who like to gamble don’t have enough local options, I could hardly contain the laughter under my breath. Maybe Whaley was referring to the options to Daytonians will have to lose even more money so their kids can eat dog food? Any half-awake observer can discern that it was the campaign donations from the Penn National Gaming Political Action Committee that drove her support. If you want to see Mayor Whaley’s core philosophy, you only need to look into her campaign donors on the Ohio Secretary of State’s web site.

This is why we, as Daytonians, need to be asking ourselves this question now: Once the new Dayton Racino closes, what do you think should go into its place? I don’t want to be the bearer of bad tidings, but the whole gambling idea was a failed idea from the beginning, sold to a populace with confused economic ideas as a panacea to deeply entrenched economic problems largely created by extractive trade policies that Americans continue to ignore. In the end, many more dollars will leave Ohio to help enrich the shareholders of Penn National Gaming, than will stay here.

Ask yourself: Who is going to want to go to a Casino right across the street from a giant smoke belching high fructose corn syrup factory in an area that offers little more than mass urban blight and schizophrenic suburban sprawl? Maybe the ailing afternoon bar crowd from the Northridge VFW, but not many more. When the wind is blowing in the right direction, you can gain weight just from breathing the air around that area.

So, with that said, let us get on to the real business of business, and that is figuring out what should go into the Dayton Racino facility, once the Racino ultimately fails because of the graft and corruption that leads to these kind of hair brained economic development schemes. There will surely be a cast of local knuckleheads bemoaning the closing of the doomed to fail project, but that doesn’t obscure the fact that people who think gambling is an economic development engine are the reason we can’t have nice things.

With that said, here are some ideas I’ve got.

Relocate Scene 75?
• A Giant Funk Museum/Waterpark?
• An Automotive Manufacturing Re-enactment Amusement Park
• A high fructose corn syrup outlet mall. Cargill is right across the street – Straight from the vat -”bring your own container.”
• The world’s largest “Dollar Tree” outlet mall.
• A “Re-Revival” music festival where the organizer runs around the racetrack with monies owed to vendors, while food truck owners chase him around the track attempting to extract a paycheck. Locals could bet money on this race of Davids chasing Goliath.
What ideas do you have that would fit nicely into that space once it is inevitably abandoned?


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Reply Once The New Dayton Racino Closes, What Do You Think Should Go Into Its Place? (Original post)
votesparks Mar 2014 OP
doc03 Mar 2014 #1
Travis_0004 Mar 2014 #2

Response to votesparks (Original post)

Tue Mar 4, 2014, 10:03 PM

1. How about opening a UFO museum featuring the flying saucer from

hanger 18 at Wright Patterson.

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Response to votesparks (Original post)

Tue Mar 4, 2014, 10:28 PM

2. I think its a bit too soon to assume its going to fail.


Even if it does, so what? They were built with private money, and I really don't care if a bunch of private investors loose money on the project. It was a risk they took.

I live in Cincinnati. I'm sure they would have loved to have 14 million in taxes for the casino. Instead they only got 10 million. That is 10 million more than they would have got if there was no casino.

And really, if you live in Dayton/Cleveland, the casino is about the only thing those cities have going for them (although the Dayton Dragons are ok in my book)

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