The new Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland has gotten off to a very successful start, as local players are flocking to the casino. There are many reports of tables being full most hours during the day as people have to wait to play. In the poker room, they aren’t hosting tournaments as the room is so full with players wanting to play the cash games. There aren’t many novices when it comes to poker rules and casino etiquette as many of these players have played in the regional casinos.
Apparently it’s not just locals jamming into the new casino. One of the selling points to Ohio residents when they finally approved the casino was that so much money was leaving the state to the region’s casinos in Detroit and Pittsburgh. Now that may be reversing, as reports are out that regional casinos are seeing a drop in business after the opening of the Cleveland casino. The numbers for June during the first full month after Ohio casinos opened in Cleveland and Toledo are down 9.4% from April for the eight casinos in Detroit, western Pennsylvania and along the Ohio River in northern West Virginia.
The Cleveland casino is beautiful and located in downtown Cleveland near other attractions like Progressive Field, so it’s no surprise that they are winning some business. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the long run.
Gerrymandering is one of the biggest problems we have in modern politics, and in Ohio, the past round produced some truly ridiculous outcomes.
Thus, a group called Voters First has gotten enough signatures for a ballot initiative in Ohio to reform the process. The group is backed by Democrats but the notion of redistricting reform also has support from some Republicans, even if they don’t back this effort.
The Voters First proposal would create a 12-member bipartisan citizens commission to draw the congressional and legislative maps every 10 years using criteria such as keeping communities whole, promoting competitiveness and compactness and having the districts lean toward how voters in that area actually vote.
If approved, the commission’s newly drawn maps would become effective in 2014.
Republican lawmakers were heavily criticized for drawing some unusually shaped and meandering districts intended to favor GOP candidates.
Under the Voters First amendment, most citizens — aside from politicians, their family members or donors — would be allowed to apply for the commission. A panel of appeals court judges would whittle that list down to 42 commission candidates.
The House speaker and House minority leader then would each eliminate nine more names. Of the remaining 24 names, nine would be randomly selected for the commission. Those nine selected would then pick the remaining three.
Personally, I think the idea of open primaries, one primary for Democrats, Republicans, Independents, etc. with the top two in a runoff, is also a great idea. But this one is also intriguing.
Take a look at this ad for the Obama campaign in Ohio and you’ll see how tough both sides are going to battle for this state. It’s still the ultimate battleground state:
The last time Ohio voters didn’t pick the winner in a presidential election was 1960. Republican Richard Nixon won the Buckeye State, but Democrat John F. Kennedy won the nation.
Since 1964, no other state has had such an unbroken string of siding with the winner.
No one can know until Nov. 6 whether 2012 will uphold Ohio’s record as the pre-eminent swing state or end its reign, but neither the Obama nor Romney campaign is taking a chance.
“The tipping-point states appear to be Virginia and Ohio,” said Chris Redfern, the Ohio Democratic Party chairman. He said the state party will run the biggest state campaign organization in the country.
“What we look at is building an infrastructure that can turn out as many votes for the President as possible in all of Ohio’s 88 counties,” Mr. Redfern said.
Right now I think Obama has the edge with the success of the Auto bailout and the fact that Romney backed Issue 2.