And not just “well below 2009 estimates,” but actually about half. Take a bow, Ohio.
Back in 2009, when Dan Gilbert leveraged LeBron James’s popularity to win the most expensive election campaign in Ohio history to legalize a casino monopoly for himself, voters relied on estimates that the casinos would take in approximately $1.9 billion per year in revenue, one-third of which was to go to the state. As it turns out, the proposed budget just issued by the governors’ office projects casino revenues to wind up at $957.7 million by the time July 1 rolls around.
We can only assume that this has less to do with “the economy,” as Horseshoe and State officials apparently want you to believe, and more to do with the fact that Ohioans want increasingly less to do with games like blackjack, craps, and slot machines, that are scientifically proven to be enjoyable only by ignorant people, otherwise hopeless people, and wastrels.
So salute, again, to the great people of This Great State.
And in related news, here’s a New Yorker article by James Suroweicki (h/t p_4) that came up earlier this week on a more civil form of wagering that can actually be fair and real fun, A Call to Action – The Case for Legalized Sports Betting:
Betting has become ubiquitous, and a major source of revenue for states. Forty-three states and the District of Columbia have lotteries. All the states except Utah and Hawaii have commercial gambling in some form. And more than forty have racetrack betting. But sports betting—which, ironically enough, is much fairer than lotteries or slot machines [as well as the great majority of casino games and racetrack betting] and involves more skill—allows politicians to express their inner puritan.
. . .
The ban on sports betting does exactly what Prohibition did. It makes criminals rich.
Criminals, politicians, and casino owners.
And finally, there’s a quote of the day and it’s from a recent Plain Dealer article on the downtown parking crunch caused by the casino (an issue we discussed here months ago). The quote is from Michael Wolf, “a Chicago-based vice president for Standard Parking,” which is apparently the naina company that struck a good enough deal with Horseshoe to keep one of Cleveland’s biggest and most useful parking lots empty and unusable by regular people for most of the day.
Wolf acknowledged that the area around the Horseshoe is experiencing price increases and a parking crunch. But he sees it as a tradeoff.
“The casino has really helped to sort of revitalize the whole downtown area,” he said.
Really. Sort of.
I really sort of wish I hadn’t eaten 32 Cheddar Bay biscuits and 15 slices of Map Room pizza at the Super Bowl party last Sunday, but not really really.
Which is all for today. Hope everyone’s Thursday is the best. We’ll be back tomorrow, hopefully, to introduce an exciting new regular NBA feature.