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Ohio might drain business from Detroit casinos

12 October 2009

DETROIT, Michigan -- As reported by the Detroit News: "Casinos in Michigan and Ohio's other neighboring states could lose up to $1 billion in annual revenues if Buckeye State voters approve Issue 3, backers say.

"Issue 3, on the Nov. 3 ballot, would allow the sale of four casino licenses for $50 million each; the licenses would permit the building of one casino in each of Ohio's four largest cities: Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and -- most worrisome for Detroit's three casinos and Caesars Windsor -- Toledo.

"Backers of Issue 3, including Dan Gilbert, co-founder of Livonia-based Quicken Loans, have been heavily courting voters throughout the referendum process by arguing that as much as $1 billion a year is spent by Ohioans every year in casinos across state borders in West Virginia, Indiana and Michigan. Gilbert, who also has championed a rebirth of downtown Detroit, is a co-owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and has sunk millions into pushing for passage of Issue 3.

"One recent television ad urges Buckeye voters to 'take charge' and 'keep our money in Ohio.'

"That kind of rhetoric is a concern for Detroit's three casinos -- MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity and Greektown. By all accounts, Ohioans represent the single-largest group of out-of-state casino patrons in southeast Michigan, and constitute a goodly portion of business for Caesars Windsor, across the Detroit River, in Ontario..."

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