I voted against allowing casinos into the state in our last election. Why? I don’t see the value of a place where you hand over cash to hold a hand of cards. And playing for double or nothing generally means you’re about to lose your shirt and your pants. Strips away all the excitement. However, a majority of voters in Ohio felt differently and casinos are now in. So I’ve decided to make the best of it and look on the positive side. 

First there’s all the additional tax revenue casinos will generate for the state. Considering our state budget problems, I should be thankful for how this extra revenue will benefit Ohio residents. I certainly remember the incredible success of the Ohio Lottery and how much Ohio schools have benefited from the extra revenue it’s generated. Okay, so we’ve had to pass several school levies in Centerville over the last few years and still endured program cuts and increased fees for 2009-2010. No problem. Government sponsored bingo parlors could be the next fix.   

Secondly, casinos will create new jobs. No doubt about it. Economic times are tough and the job market is thin. And who couldn’t be thrilled with a job dealing blackjack at 3:00am or wearing a skimpy uniform while serving drinks to bleary-eyed patrons clunking their last bit of change into slot machines?  The tips plus the appreciative stares you’re sure to garner will do wonders for building self-esteem. 

And don’t forget about the new opportunities for entrepreneurs not directly affiliated with the casino establishments, yet are closely related to their success. Like the chemical euphoria representatives, the short-term relationship service professionals, the quick loan agents, and all their friendly brokers? These and others will provide even more state revenue through income taxes…right? 

Therefore, I’ve decided to consider casinos as more than just a cheap thrill for the out of town businessmen and bus loads of senior adults trading up from shuffle board in order to shuffle in to the gaming pit. It’s all just harmless entertainment.  Since I couldn’t beat’em, I plan to join’em. And when I visit one of the new casinos in Ohio, I’ll carry a big wad of cash in my back pocket…so I’m ready to bet my bottom dollar.