Ohio Investigates Gaming Opportunities to Plug $7 Billion Hole in the State Budget

Ohio Investigates Gaming Opportunities to Plug $7 Billion Hole in the State Budget

Given the poor economy, high unemployment, and expected budget shortfalls, it’s no surprise that gaming opportunities are looking more attractive for the state. Although ballot initiatives have failed in the past, voters and legislators may give more consideration to a proposal that allows casinos in multiple cities and generates substantial income for the state. Gaming proposals are still likely to face stiff opposition from those concerned that the social costs of gaming outweigh the benefits. In addition, it’s possible that casino gaming may not meet income projections. For example, Keno, which was added to the Ohio State Lottery in 2008, was projected to generate $73 million a year for the state budget. However, Keno sales were much lower than projected, generating only $25 million a year. Despite the drawbacks, gaming may be a viable alternative to shore up the faltering state budget as spending cuts become more urgent.

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