Kasich shakes down casino

Posted on: June 13th, 2011 12:06 pm | By: Jeremy Schrute

Well, John Kasich got some of that money and he didn’t even have to break any knee caps. I guess when you’re the governor of Ohio, you don’t have to resort to such violent tactics. Instead, you resort to dirtier but legal intimidation and coercion tactics to get your way. Over the weekend, Governor Kasich successfully shook down one of the casinos set to open in the state, Rock Ohio Caesars.

After closed-doors negotiations between the two parties, the casino agreed to what is being called a “significant payout” over several years to the state of Ohio. No details were disclosed, but Kasich insists that he did not raise taxes on the casino.

You might remember good ol’ Kasich saying that he was going to raise the taxes and licensing fees on casinos because voters got ripped off. Of course they did! I mean, casinos only pay one-third of their revenue to the state in taxes, not including the $50 million licensing fee. What a rip off! How did the casinos get such a sweet deal?

Sarcasm aside, Governor Kasich thinks that a 33% tax rate on casinos is too low, possibly because he has never taken an economics class. If he had, he would know that a) increasing the tax rate too much would reduce tax revenue and b) increasing taxes too much would put the casinos out of business. And if the casinos went out of business, there goes that economic injection and the tax money.

Still, Kasich is a politician, so that generally speaking that means he is a) greedy, b) corrupt, c) out of touch with reality and d) nowhere near as intelligent as he thinks. Kasich doesn’t think about the danger of overtaxing a brand new business – one that is already starting out in debt because of high start-up costs. Instead, he simply thinks “hey, Ohio needs money; the casinos have money; I should take more money from them!” It doesn’t matter that he has no legal right to do so. After all, the law passed in 2009 established the tax rate. The casinos signed a contract ensuring that tax rate. Kasich praised Rock Ohio Caesars for negotiating “in good faith,” but the governor did anything but.

The other casino company, Penn National Gaming, did not reach an agreement with Kasich. They walked away from negotiations without working out a deal. Kasich is hoping they come around, because that’s more of their money that he wants! Penn National is opening two casinos in the state, one in Cincinnati and one in Columbus.

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