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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Cincinnati-Area Gambling Exec: Bet On Issue Returning

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- A gaming industry executive whose company in suburban Cincinnati owns the Tropicana properties in Las Vegas and Atlantic City says legalized gambling forces will eventually take another stab at opening up Ohio to Vegas-style operations.

Last November, voters rejected casino gambling the third time since 1995. That deal probably suffered because lobbyists cut Cincinnati out of the action, with the casinos going to Cleveland and slot machines to Ohio's race tracks. But Donna More of Columbia Sussex seems to have little doubt another try is ahead within the next decade. She told Cincinnati Enquirer business writer Alexander Coolidge that the gaming industry has room for growth, and that states like Ohio need the sources of revenue that gambling can provide.

"I think there is a lot of long-term growth potential in the U.S. industry. As states search for ways to fund public policy, gaming stands out as a fairly rich opportunity, and I think more jurisdictions will eventually opt to legalize it. As a result, companies that have well-established brands and high compliance standards are going to be presented with plenty of growth options. Ohio has reviewed legislation many time in the past, and Kentucky is looking at a bill now that would provide some form of casino gambling. As I said before, my much is that as states continue to encounter needs for new revenue sources, casino gambling is going to look more attractive."

Coolidge's q-and-a with the gaming exec is HERE , and while it received a nice display online, the print version was buried on page 5 of the Sunday paper's business section. It was an important story about the view of a senior exec at a major gaming industry operation. The company's casino properties are shown HERE.

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