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Fraternal Order of Police Supports Ohio Casino Plan

The state of Ohio's biggest police union is placing its support behind the supporters of a controversial gaming proposal to build 4 casino facilities in the state's biggest cities, including Columbus. The Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio said on August 11th, 2009 that it supports a proposed a casino-related constitutional change that will go before state voters in November 2009.

Penn National Gaming Incorporated, which is based in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert are supporting the plan to construct casinos in Cincinnati, Toledo, Cleveland and on the western part of the Arena District in Columbus. The FOP, who has a total of 24,000 members in the state, said that it has criticized earlier gaming issues, including a plan in 2008 to construct a gambling resort in Wilmington. That ballot referendum failed.

The union said that Wilmington proposal had a lot of loopholes but tax revenue allocations in the latest casino plan would provide enough money for municipal government services including fire and police protection. FOP Treasurer Mark Drum said that these are tough times for the cities and counties of Ohio. He added that they are seeing communities all over Ohio struggling with depleting revenue that have forced them to implement cuts in their public safety forces.

The FOP said that it plans to form a group called Cops for Casino to show its support. The union's endorsement comes less than 2 weeks after the casino proposal cleared an important hurdle when the Ohio state Supreme Court dismissed a challenged to the referendum signatures. That decision cleared the way for the casino proposal to head to the November referendum.


08/19/2009 22:04 PM


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