Ohio's urban casino future

November 4, 2009
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Ohio residents looking to be separated from their bank accounts via one-armed bandits won't have to cross borders soon, thanks to a vote yesterday. See story here.

Anyone surprised by this vote might also be shocked to learn that many theater companies will be staging "A Christmas Carol" next month

Indiana casinos, of course, will feel the impact. But could that impact have been mitigated if our casinos had, during their relatively competition-free grace period, done more to develop themselves as destinations beyond the slot machines? In hindsight, was the "oasis" strategy of putting casinos in less-populated areas counter to what the market really wants? Will you be more likely to stop into a Cleveland or Columbus casino simply because you are more likely to find yourself in Cleveland or Columbus than you are in Hammond or French Lick?

And what can Indiana casinos do now to retain and, if possible, actually grow their audiences?

Your thoughts?


 

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  • Fail
    The "oasis" strategy didn't work. Sure, it made sense to put them up near Lake Michigan, and I think French Lick will ultimately be a good destination. However instead of the two racinos, it would have made so much more sense to put a casino in Downtown Indy. With our convention traffic, it would have been a hit year around, not to mention bring even more locals downtown. It is a missed opportunity now.
  • The Party is Over
    A casino in Indianapolis or Fort Wayne would be a terrible idea. It would only shift existing entertainment spending from locals and not bring in any "new" money from out of state to our economy. We already have two casinos within a 30 minute drive, a downtown off track betting parlor, Hoosier Lottery sales,and countless "charity" gambling venues.

    Just waiting for some politician to suggest legal sales of marijuana or prostitution.
  • Anderson to Indy
    The need to close the struggling Anderson Hoosier Park Racino and move it to downtown Indy to capture all the possible revenue from conventions, Final Fours, Super Bowl, Indy 500 visitors Etc. That would bring in a lot more out of town money than Anderson, which was once a nice City, but now is a shadow of itself and smaller than Carmel, Fishers, Greenwood, and Avon.
  • Casinos
    The original thinking on the tracks was to help Indiana's struggling horse industry. At least that's how legislators sold gambling to the public. It was an awful mistake to locate the first track in Anderson instead of in Marion County. It was a bad decision to open a second track. Our gambling boats have raked in a lot of out-of-state money, which subsidized the horse tracks. That's probably over now.
  • Casinos
    The original thinking on the tracks was to help Indiana's struggling horse industry. At least that's how legislators sold gambling to the public. It was an awful mistake to locate the first track in Anderson instead of in Marion County. It was a bad decision to open a second track. Our gambling boats have raked in a lot of out-of-state money, which subsidized the horse tracks. That's probably over now.
  • No Casino In Indy
    Indianapolis casino supporters are not going after "out of town travelers". They are targeting residents of the largest city in Indiana. Of course, uneducated center township residents would be the biggest patrons.

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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