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Ohio Lottery could be hurt by casinos

Ohio LotteryOhio Lottery: Ohio Lottery could be hurt by casinos

Lottery sales and Bingo revenue fell in Ohio counties nearest out-of-state casinos, raising concerns about the economic impact of such casinos coming to Ohio, according to a newspaper analysis.

Public and private schools, animal protection groups, firefighters, the Roman Catholic church and other charitable groups benefit from about $600 million in Ohio Lottery profits and up to $90 million from bingo yearly.

Supporters have estimated the state could get $500 million from allowing slot machines at racetracks, but that doesn't include the effect on existing legalized gambling on Ohio.

In the five years after casinos opened in West Virginia and Indiana in the mid-1990s, lottery sales dropped by 16 percent in Ohio counties within a 30-minute drive, the Akron Beacon Journal reported Thursday. In counties more than 90 minutes away, lottery sales declined by an average 7 percent.

From 2000 to 2002, the only years for which data were available, bingo sales dropped by 11 percent in counties closest to the casinos, compared with 6 percent in Ohio's interior.

Even counties along the Michigan border, about an hour's drive from Detroit casinos, showed some drop, according to data reported to the Ohio attorney general.

Casino gambling backers on Wednesday began a petition drive for a statewide ballot question on allowing cities to decide to allow casinos. Indian tribes, racetrack owners and some lawmakers are also seeking to put the issue on the November ballot.

Gov. Bob Taft opposes casino gambling, and Ohio voters have twice rejected casino issues since 1990.

Aquinas Central Catholic School in Steubenville, along the Ohio River between two West Virginia casinos, stopped bingo in June after nearly 20 years. The school with 227 students made nearly $84,000 from bingo in 2000.

"We saw a drop-off in attendance. Fewer and fewer people were coming, and it was more work than what we were getting in return," Principal Victoria Nurczyk said. The school raised tuition and started other fundraising efforts.

At a bingo night for band boosters in the Akron suburb of Barberton, Clara Ferguson, 66, said she spends up to $500 a week gambling. She said she'd prefer full Las Vegas-style games in Ohio, not just slot machines and "that itty-bitty stuff."

"I want something you could drive to within an hour," she said.

But boosters treasurer Ann Gerbec said she's not worried. "A lot of the people go out of state, but we always have the regulars."

Nearly half of bingo profits in 2002 went to Catholic schools and churches.

Mary Anne Sharkey, a Catholic and a lobbyist for American Indian tribes interested in building casinos in Ohio, said interest groups can't dictate where the state's gambling revenues would go, but "it would be nice to see that some of the relief be given to help support the parochial-school system."

Ohio Lottery Commission director Tom Hayes said he's not concerned about casinos.

"It's not currently part of state law, and a great deal has to happen before it becomes a reality in Ohio," he said. "Obviously, there will be an impact, but we can't spend our time thinking about it. We will always have customers."

AP

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8 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by CASH Only.
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dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

United States
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September 17, 2003
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Posted: May 20, 2005, 10:19 pm - IP Logged

It's stories like this that make me wonder why they don't have televised or webcast drawings of balls. At least that way they can say the games are honest and just ask if the casino's are.

    wizeguy's avatar - animaniacs04

    United States
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    May 10, 2005
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    Posted: May 21, 2005, 3:23 am - IP Logged



    It's stories like this that make me wonder why they don't have televised or webcast drawings of balls. At least that way they can say the games are honest and just ask if the casino's are.



    I'd have to check with family in Ohio to be sure but I do believe Ohio televises the drawing of the balls, at least they used to.

      LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
      Tennessee
      United States
      Member #7853
      October 15, 2004
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      Posted: May 21, 2005, 4:53 am - IP Logged

      a lot of places out west are computerized....its spreading eastward though.

        LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
        Tennessee
        United States
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        October 15, 2004
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        Posted: May 21, 2005, 4:46 pm - IP Logged

        casinos could very well eat into lottery profits... 

        Slots

          Avatar
          New Mexico
          United States
          Member #12305
          March 10, 2005
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          Posted: May 22, 2005, 3:47 pm - IP Logged

          There's something mildly amusing about the concept of a lottery operation 'losing money' to a gambling house operation.  When you stop and think about it, the only folks who lose money gambling, be it lotteries or gambling casinoes, are the gamblers.  The house (government lotteries) would certainly like to limit the number of ways and places gamblers can choose to lose their money, but when someone left the barn door open for Native casinoes the horse and most of the cows got out (not to mention Las Vegas and New Jersey).  Likely there's no way they can ever get back the monopoly that would keep gamblers from losing money in Native casinoes, Las Vegas, and NJ.  All they can do is try to limit it, keep it squeezed down between the fences that exist today.

          It wouldn't do to have gamblers merely losing money to one another without the government getting a major cut, or NAs funnelling it all off into places where everyone speaks Italian.  Places such as down at the local VFW and American Legion halls.  Places such as the local church raffle.  Places such as anywhere a free people want to congregate and gamble, be it with cards, dice, darts, or a football pool that doesn't have to involve football.

          Crying shame poor old Ohio is 'losing' Bingo and lottery money to casino gambling.  Maybe some gamblers out there just find Bingo a REALLLLLLLLLy lousy way to spend an evening and prefer table games.

          Ah well.

          Jack

           


            United States
            Member #379
            June 5, 2002
            11296 Posts
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            Posted: May 25, 2005, 1:32 pm - IP Logged

            rip:

            The plural of "casino" adds an "s", not "es".

              Avatar
              New Mexico
              United States
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              March 10, 2005
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              Posted: May 25, 2005, 3:46 pm - IP Logged

              If the eye offends thee pluck it out, Cash.  Also the E. 

              Jack 


                United States
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                June 5, 2002
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                Posted: June 4, 2005, 9:34 am - IP Logged

                Bring on the casinoe!