By approving alternative gaming opportunities at racetracks, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and West Virginia have enjoyed enormous increases in state revenues without costing taxpayers a penny. Many people, including those who raise and race horses and others in those states’ agricultural communities, have benefited.
For decades, Ohio was the leader in the production of Standardbred horses. Because other states have seized opportunities that Ohio has spurned, Ohio has fallen to sixth place nationally in foal production. This has meant a loss of farm jobs, tax revenues, and a decrease in Ohio’s agricultural base.
Some claim that alternative gaming at racetracks would benefit only a few, but nothing could be further from the truth. It benefits the farmer raising hay and horses in Scioto County. It benefits trainers with horses at fairgrounds in Chillicothe and other communities. It benefits Ohioans who enjoy gaming entertainment because they wouldn’t have to travel outside of Ohio.
Finally, it benefits all Ohio by providing state government with a substantial source of revenue without costing residents a dime in higher taxes or fees.
Last summer Keno games came to Ohio racetracks and other outlets. There were no protests or problems. Keno was simply another item on the menu for racetrack patrons. So it will be if other alternative gaming comes to tracks.
We hope that the governor and state legislators will realize that alternative gaming at tracks presents a “win-win” solution for Ohio taxpayers and the state’s agribusiness.
Dean A. Hoffman
President, Ohio Chapter
United States Harness Writers Association
Hoffman Communications LLC
P.O. Box 20012
Columbus OH 43220-0012