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A racino isn’t economic development

Other than the wages it pays and the services it consumes- a racino isn’t anything other than a way for the state to steal poor people’s money. Compare the economic output of a racino- with the factory it replaced and you start to see where we are headed.

Tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. the Dayton Unit of the NAACP is having a forum on “economic development” at the Dayton Boys Academy, just West of the intersection of James H McGee and W. Third Street. Our mayor, Nan “the demolisher” Whaley is one of the speakers. Having her talk about “economic development” is akin to asking Hannibal Lecter to speak on the benefits of organ donation.

Other speakers include:

  • Catherine Crosby, executive director of the City of Dayton Human Relations Council
  • Richard L. Wright, executive director of Parity Inc.
  • John A. Lumpkin, vice president of Wealth Management, and financial advisor for Morgan Stanley
  • Silvia Anderson, manager of Workforce Services for OhioMeansJobs Montgomery County.

The moderator will be Chris Shaw, chair of the Dayton Unit NAACP Economic Development Committee

“The Dayton Unit NAACP is highly concerned about the lack of Employment Opportunities to include city, county and state highway construction jobs; small business development to include retail outlets, restaurants and service facilities; and the lack of franchise businesses which are so prevalent in other areas of the region, said Derrick L. Foward, president of the Dayton Unit NAACP. We look forward to hearing the great things these leaders are accomplishing from an Economic Development standpoint in Dayton proper, said Foward. “The Citizens of Dayton are counting on you in a BIG way to enhance their quality of life.

“The Economic Development Committee is concerned about jobs, business development and wealth building,” said Shaw. “While we know issues and opportunities exist, by bringing together community stakeholders, we will be able to update the residents of Dayton on collaborative efforts to further these goals. We look forward to community participation,” said Shaw.

via (4) Dayton Unit NAACP [1].

I’m wondering what “Great things these leaders are accomplishing” too- especially, since business and government keep getting confused. Not a single developer invited. Nothing against my friend Mr. Lumpkin, but, he’s a former banker and now a financial adviser, not a business owner or a developer.

“Economic development” is code for taking taxpayers’ money and spending it where no one else will, or where politicians get kickbacks.

The real question is why businesses don’t thrive in Dayton- well except for CareSource- a tax-funded middleman where the CEO makes millions a year doing what a government employee would never get paid more than $185K a year for.

We could talk about the extra money a small business has to spend on security glass, alarm systems, video surveillance, guards and higher insurance premiums because of the vacant homes, crime and disinvestment. Our police force is half of what it once was, yet the city is the same size.

We could talk about how the city cites homeowners for tall grass- while only cutting public parks 3x a year. Or how there are bushes growing through the cracks of basketball courts across the city, while developers who didn’t do their homework get handed a $1.25 million demolition for free [2]. That’s 1.25 million that wasn’t spent on delivering services to the people that pay for them.

Back to the racino. Because the state guarantees a return on the slot machines, investors had no problem putting millions into building a legalized theft business. No tax breaks, no abatement, no grants. No other businesses, except health care and banking in this country are as free to operate knowing they will get paid no matter what. Other businesses all have to weigh their risk vs. return. In most of Dayton, the perceived risk outweighs its return.

If you want investment and jobs, look around at your neighborhoods- the boarded up homes, the weeds in the streets, the potholes, the broken curbs, the knocked down street lights in the center of U.S. 35 W that never got replaced and ask, why are we so lacking in government services despite paying the second highest income tax in the area?

The answer, unfortunately, is our government started concentrating on “economic development” and forgot about the fundamental premise of running a city properly.



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Jay J. Krull

David, this statement, “Because the state guarantees a return on the slot machines, investors…” has me scratching my head. Can you tell me how the state (as in Ohio, the county or the City of Dayton) does this?

Jay J. Krull

David, thanks for the explanation. So, using your numbers above, 53% of the gross revenue of a slot machine is taken in by the casino. Of that, the state authorities skim their cut (10%? 15%?) and the rest the casino keeps as profit.


Anyone notice how quick the DDN did a story on the front page of the paper. It explained correct me if i am wrong but I glanced at the article and i read something of over 2 billion estimates from the racino. Of that like 437 million will go to the state. However anyone want to explain to me how for years the lottery, bingo and other charities were to be helping schools. All I see is more levies for taxes;teachers have it worse. If I understand this right teachers should be treated as football players making a deep salary for all the stress and hard work and sacrifice they have endured for years. Shame on the legislator where is the paper reporting how this is helping schools; not a peep about it and I do not expect it anytime soon. How long before this is the real issue. All the promises of great revenue generated; this all smells of high profits for the few and controlled at that to make the revenue before the first person steps in the doors. Not only will tax payers be paying more taxes but the poor unsuspecting person will put up hard earned money and SSI to play. Of course there is a disclaimer if you have gambling problem you can call the number at the bottom of the racino to add just to smooth things over and cover themselves. Lets be clear numerous individuals will be hurt by this fantastic revenue making business for the state. More money for the state to steal and waste and expect to pay your taxes; if anything it should go down. More greed the more they get the more they want us to pay more for taxes. Do I get to call a number for this legalized theft taking place? I have a problem!

Dave C.

Gambling does not actually produce anything useful.

I guess it could possibly be described as a form of entertainment. It seems to me, though, that endeavors like providing medical care, writing software, making things people want to buy, educating yourself and others, growing food, creating works of art, and erecting buildings are far better ways to build a healthy community.

Ice Bandit

…who says casinos aren’t the keys to economic recovery? After all, Detroit has three of them. And why are you, dear David, comparing herzonner to Hannibal Lecter when it was you who invited her over for a dinner of fava beans and a nice Chianti?…


David’s 47% number is completely false. Ohio’s existing casinos have slots that are paying out over 90%, which is pretty typical for the industry: http://www.americancasinoguide.com/slot-machine-payback-statistics.html#Ohio

David, why did you claim 47%? And why did you claim that the state “guarantees a return”? It does nothing of the sort; it doesn’t need to because Casinos wouldn’t put out a machine that wasn’t going to make them money. But in the event that a casino screwed up and put out a machine that overpaid, I seriously doubt the state would make up the difference. If that is the law, that’s a huge scandal–please let us know the details!

Dave C.

We should have a special tax on people that don’t understand math…..oh wait, we do! It’s called slots!