COLUMBUS - The petition for a constitutional amendment, which would allow one
casino in each of Ohio's four largest cities, was accepted by the Ohio attorney
general last week. Immediately afterwards supporters for the petition launched
their drive to collect the 400,000 signatures from registered voters to qualify
for next November's ballot.
The signatures must be turned in to the secretary of state's office by July 1st.
The secretary's office and county elections boards will then have about twenty
days to verify them. If there are not enough valid signatures, the petitioners
will be granted additional time to gather more.
The proposal would amend the state constitution to allow one casino in
Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo. It requires at least a $250 million
investment at each of the four casino sites plus a $50 million licensing fee per
The state would receive a "permanent, guaranteed" tax of 33 percent on gross
casino revenues and split the proceeds among counties and cities, school
districts, and law enforcement. The estimated tax revenue is $600 million per
year according to the casino backers. They also estimate the casinos would
create about 20,000 new jobs.
Ohio voters have rejected four previous casino measures including one last
November that would have established a casino in southwestern Ohio.
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