We've got yet another casino proposal on the ballot here in Ohio this fall, and once again, it's the wrong one.
I don't have any philosophical or moral issue with casinos. I think it's stupid to expect some great economical boost (how's that working out for you, Detroit?). What I take issue with is that every time it comes up, it's a constitutional amendment with very specific attachments. In this case, it actually names the specific parcels of land where each casino can be built. Can you imagine if the US Constitution said where you had to build specific buildings? That would be completely asinine.
This also outlines in constitutional law who benefits first from the construction of these casinos. Whoever owns the land, makes out big time. That's completely wrong. I firmly believe that the licenses should first be bid out competitively, not set at an arbitrary $50 million each. If the state can get more, they should. Furthermore, once they do secure a license, they should have to find the land most suitable for their plans. The constitution should not be amended to decide which land owners win.
You can see why this keeps coming up over and over. In order to initiate the issue at all, you need significant backing, and no one is going to do it until they have some assurance that they will benefit.