The state of Ohio could generate about $250 million per year without increasing taxes. Presently, there are thousands of games of skill being played in taverns and other locations. They are presently legal.
I have been told by operators of these games that they are willing to pay the state an annual $5,000 license fee per machine. This licensing method would be a less expensive way to police the use of these machines.
Florida and West Virginia both charge a sales tax on these machines. Ohio needs to stop the cash flow that is leaving our state and going to cities like Pittsburgh and to our neighboring states that have gambling.
This is a better idea than casino gambling because all counties would share in the income that is generated from the licensing tax. Casinos would generate money for the stockholders only. They would possibly create 3,000 entry level jobs and close up all surrounding businesses, perhaps losing an equal number of jobs.
The main reason for me to promote this issue is to save and help small business, which is recognized as the growth engine to our economy. The tavern, restaurant and small businessman have been hurt by the new smoking ban, lowering the DWI percentage and will have to look toward high labor costs with the increase of the minimum wage.
Patrick J. Cahill