Ohio Senator George Voinovich Fights Gambling Again

U.S. Sen. George Voinovich is ready to battle again with gambling proponents who want to expand legalized gambling in the state but warned that this time the foe is much stronger.

Voinovich, who opposes putting any proposal for slots machines in Ohio on the Nov. 7 ballot. "I'm opposed to the devastation it causes families," he said. "The divorce, bankruptcy, suicide, embezzlement...the family is the most important institution we have and it's being attacked on all sides."

Voinovich cautioned voters that only people running the slots machines will benefit in the long run because of the billions of dollars that will be lost in state revenue and programs.

"They're trying to pass this off as something good for higher education, and it's not," he said. "Is this really the way we want to raise money for higher education?"

The last time he faced off against gambling proponents was in 1996 as governor. Voters shot down a proposal for casinos in Ohio with a 68 percent to 32 percent vote, despite the fact that proponents raised $8 million while those opposed only raise about $1 million.

This time around the slot machine backers are starting with about $15 million, much of it to be used for a television advertising campaign. Voinovich hopes to raise about $1.5 million in the fight, but asks that others step up and voice their opposition on Election Day.

"People would be so much better off spending their money on automobiles and other durable goods," he said.


Sunday, 13. 2006
Theo Evans