When people think of going to the casino and trying their luck at the poker table, they usually think of Las Vegas, not Cleveland. Well that’s something the Ohio Government might change in the near future with their possible changes to the state’s constitution. Not only is Ohio looking to making their state a gambling friendly area, they are taking a look to see how gambling revenues can be used to help local causes.
The amendment to the Ohio Constitution will be called ‘Learn and Earn’. Scholarships and tuition grants will be offered to tax payers through funds generated by state sanctioned casinos. The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) Board of Directors has been researching the ‘Learn and Earn’ project for a couple years, and believe the program has the potential to be quite successful.
"A college education is the single greatest predictor of economic success, and passage of this amendment will significantly increase the number of Ohioans who receive a higher education," explained Frederick Nance, Chairman of the GCP Board of Directors. "This program is designed to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in our state annually for higher education. GCP played a significant role in crafting the proposed Constitutional amendment, specifically on economic development goals, specific constitutional language, local consensus with city and county officials, and the imposition of licensing fees. The proposed amendment meets GCP principles and represents a tremendous economic opportunity for Ohio, Cleveland, and Cuyahoga County, where we are projecting to receive more than $60 million for economic development purposes annually."
Having the GCP carrying the ‘Learn and Earn’ project on their backs will help the project gain commercial support among Ohio business owners and will help maximize ‘Learn and Earn’ project profits.
"We look forward to seeing Ohio reclaim some of the gaming revenue that is lost to our neighboring states," said Joe Roman, President and CEO of GCP. "In crafting the language, we were adamant that revenues should not be used to replace or reduce current state funding provided to local governments. The language in the Constitutional amendment is very clear. Gaming revenues must be invested in job creation and economic development strategies by local public and civic leadership. The secure scholarship funds increase the number of Ohioans with a college education by helping Ohio's high school students attend one of Ohio's colleges and universities. And Ohio will lead the nation in the amount of funds it commits to treating existing problem gamblers and preventing new problem gambling habits."