Casinos Aim to Educate Presidential Candidates with New Report Showing $3 Billion Impact on Ohio
Columbus, OH – A new report out today shows Ohio’s casinos and racinos contribute $3 billion in economic activity, supports nearly 18,000 jobs and generates over $900 million in tax revenues. As part of its gaming votes initiative the American Gaming Association today announced new numbers at a roundtable discussion at Hollywood Columbus with Reps. Joyce Beatty and Steve Stivers. AGA is educating presidential candidates about the positive economic impact of casinos in Ohio, one of the most important battleground states in the upcoming election.
“Gaming in no longer a niche, novel industry but an economic driver in Ohio that is providing a path to the middle class in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and beyond,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA. “We encourage presidential candidates to get to know the gaming industry as they seek votes from thousands of Ohioans whose jobs depend on casinos.”
The event offered a snapshot of how casino gaming boosts small businesses, provides fulfilling careers and opportunities for advancement and produces a positive ripple effect for the local economy. The roundtable panel included:
- Congresswoman Joyce Beatty;
- Congressman Steve Stivers;
- Chris Haydocy, president of Haydocy Automotive;
- Himbert Sinopoli, general manager of Hollywood Casino;
- Christina Green, Hollywood Casino table games dealer; and
- Al Obayuwana, executive director, Hilltop YMCA Executive Director
“Ohio will be in the political spotlight until the last vote is counted in the 2016 election, and events like the one here today facilitate a conversation that needs to take place on casino gaming’s positive economic contributions,” said Himbert Sinopoli, vice president and general manager of Hollywood Casino Columbus. “As many presidential candidates crisscross the state, it is important our employees are part of that conversation and can make informed decisions when it comes time to cast their ballot.”
“The fact is in 2009, the Weston District was named ‘the most vacant district’ in the United States. Families and businesses were fleeing the area,” said Chris Haydocy, president of Weston Vision. “No one had any plan on how to stop this exodus. Hollywood’s investment in this district not only stopped the exodus, but has been the major reason for the comeback.”
Earlier this year in Las Vegas, the AGA launched a national initiative, “Gaming Votes,” to ensure presidential candidates understand gaming’s vital role in providing middle class jobs and driving economic growth. The AGA plans to distribute a Voters Guide to gaming employees to educate them on where candidates stand on the industry that employs them. Casino gaming supports more than half-a-million jobs and contributes $75 billion to local communities in the key presidential states of Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania, among others.
About AGA: The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $240 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.7 million jobs in 40 states. AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to be the single most effective champion of the industry, relentlessly protecting against harmful and often misinformed public policies, and paving a path for growth, innovation and reinvestment.