And a racetrack is not the answer.

Everybody is so excited! The announcement by Penn National Gaming that- if the state allows video slot machines- and ignores the 50-mile limit on racetracks- that they will bring the ponies to the corner of Needmore and Webster is a major “economic development” coup.

But it’s not.

Jobs at racetracks and casinos aren’t the answer to Dayton’s problems. And although this is one of the few developments that makes sense right over the well field- this is yet another project that has no synergy. Like the ballfield- built away from the bars on Fifth Street, the Schuster built away from the convention center and the restaurants on Fifth Street, like UD Arena- built in the middle of  nowhere – but at least on an exit from I-75. Once again, we’re building a golf course where the tees and the greens aren’t in logical consecutive order.

Are there better locations for a Racino in Dayton? Is there a better location for the Fairgrounds? How would this track work over on the old McCall Printing site off 35W, or down at the old GM Plant off Edwin C. Moses?

The North East quadrant of Dayton has seen little recent development- and with the oddity of Harrison Township still there (for no good reason) are we about to build another entertainment island?

The whole idea of putting the locations for the casinos into the Ohio Constitution was stupid, and now, this slot machine paradise plus ponies is just one more odd idea of how to handle gambling.  Why video slots instead of just poker rooms? Why is horse racing OK- but baccarat is bad?

It’s time to deregulate the gaming industry- and let free markets take the premium of scarcity out of the picture. Then maybe we’ll see things go in the right places- and the wrong ones will fail through market forces.

The only gaming we’ve had in Ohio is by the politicians- who keep coming up with these limitations that end up messing up more than they help, but, then again- most of the time, government isn’t the answer when it comes to “economic development.”

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6 Responses

  1. Greg Hunter February 16, 2011 / 10:03 am
    Why is horse racing OK- but baccarat is bad?

    I mean you really do not get it do you?  There seems to be no process for discernment in your thick skull.  Just beliefs.  Beliefs or Faith, not a process of thinking or critical  thought, just beliefs.

    Plain and simple gambling on horses has the most benefit for the most groups of people in a local community.

    Agriculture
    Technology
    Diversity of Employment
    Data Analysis
    Medical
    Genetics
    Arbitraging Betting Pools
    No other form of gambling cuts across some many important and valuable sectors.  I could and have provided you with great detail on this issue in the past but you refuse to hear or think.

    Hmmm there was a candidate for 3rd District that proposed bringing the racetrack/casino to the Montgomery County Fairgrounds and then run a trolley system from Wright Dunbar, through the Casino District, Down Oregon District and then out to WPAFB. Hmmm now that would have been a great idea at the time (it would have also crossed the bike path TWICE, which would have been great pickup points for suburbanites riding to the venues) , prior to inventing flight. Oh Well.  I am always 10 years ahead….a curse….

    Prediction – Miami Valley will be on board as they will recommend Montgomery Cty Fairgrounds be located at this new facility.

  2. djw February 16, 2011 / 11:54 am
    Interesting, Greg; I’d always thought of that kind of distinction as pretty arbitrary but you make a good point.
     
    Whether this is the perfect location for it or not, I’m glad it’s coming (and glad it’s in Dayton rather than outer Springboro or some other exurb). It may not be “the answer” but there is no one “answer”.
  3. Robert Vigh February 16, 2011 / 2:21 pm
    The whole idea of putting the locations for the casinos into the Ohio Constitution was stupid, and now, this slot machine paradise plus ponies is just one more odd idea of how to handle gambling.  Why video slots instead of just poker rooms? Why is horse racing OK- but baccarat is bad?

    It’s time to deregulate the gaming industry- and let free markets take the premium of scarcity out of the picture. Then maybe we’ll see things go in the right places- and the wrong ones will fail through market forces.

    WOOOO HOOOOOO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I agree 100%. Make gambling legal for all citizens and let it rip.

    Why is horse racing OK- but baccarat is bad?

    Greg, I thought this question was one of philosophical and also legal nature. What is exactly is the legal difference between telling someone he can bet his private property on ponies instead of on cards? You were pretty harsh, but all you really explained is that if something fits your preference of industry, it should be legal. You do not even address the similarity DE is trying to illuminate. 
     

     

  4. djw February 16, 2011 / 3:06 pm
    Robert, believe it or not some of us think about issues on two levels, at the same time. Philosophically, I hold a pretty libertarian position on gambling. But, in the real world, that position isn’t wildly popular, threatens established interests, and so on and so on, so we’re probably going to get political compromises. In the actual world we live in, an actual libertarian policy on gambling is not currently politically viable. I accept and recognize that; I realize and accept I live in a world in which my preferences are not shared by all I have to make compromises. Once I accept that, it seems smart and responsible to take secondary positions like “if we’re only going to legalize some forms of gambling, we should first legalize those forms with the highest positive externalities and the lowest negative externalities”. No, it’s not my philosophical ideal here, but we’re talking politics, not philosophy.
  5. Robert Vigh February 16, 2011 / 4:08 pm
    djw, I would argue that compromising on topics leads to a greater mess down the road. Compromising for example to allow only certain Casino’s legal exemption in our constitution creates a scenario in which we are now no longer equal under the law. It also creates government backed monopolies which in turn will create a strong lobbying effort to maintain the inequality by all parties that are profiting from the situation at the cost to everyone who is not. So, in my personal opinion, I would prefer all gambling be illegal in Ohio versus some gambling being legal. If Johnny Z can open a casino, then damn it, I should be able to as well.

    Now, my very libertarian friend believes that more freedom is always better period. Therefore, some gambling is > no gambling. Regardless of the distortion it causes in the interim. It is actually a fun argument we get to beat each other up about since we agree on most topics.

    In the future you may simply ask my opinion as opposed to all the huff and puff you add assuming I do not understand practicality, or that people may have multiple levels of reasoning. When I choose to write, I write my opinion on a topic.

  6. Jesse February 17, 2011 / 10:38 am
    Robert,
     
    I think I have to agree with your friend, more freedom is always better than less freedom.  The real issue that we need to work on is getting the people who restrict freedom removed from positions in which they can “legitimately” do so.

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