Cleveland Business Group Supports Gaming Amendment - Monday 5th of June 2006

CLEVELAND, Ohio –- During the quarterly meeting of theGreater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) Board of Directors, the Board voted tosupport the proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution that, if approvedby Ohio voters, would expand gaming in Ohio. GCP first identified expandedgaming as an important economic development consideration during itsstrategic planning process. Since 2004, GCP has studied the potentialeconomic impact and social implications associated with expanded legalizedgaming.

The Constitutional amendment, known as Learn and Earn, would createLearn and Earn scholarships and tuition grants. It would also add economicdevelopment funds for projects throughout the state, paid for by taxrevenue on restricted, regulated gaming.

Upon reviewing the results of a study commissioned by GCP, members ofthe GCP Board of Directors last fall voted to approve a two-phased plan foradvancing casino gaming in Ohio. Today, after considering the gaming ballotlanguage approved by the attorney general, the GCP Board of Directorsstrongly endorsed the amendment.

"A college education is the single greatest predictor of economicsuccess, and passage of this amendment will significantly increase thenumber of Ohioans who receive a higher education," said Frederick Nance,Chairman of the GCP Board of Directors. "This program is designed togenerate hundreds of millions of dollars in our state annually for highereducation. GCP played a significant role in crafting the proposedConstitutional amendment, specifically on economic development goals,specific constitutional language, local consensus with city and countyofficials, and the imposition of licensing fees. The proposed amendmentmeets GCP principles and represents a tremendous economic opportunity forOhio, Cleveland, and Cuyahoga County, where we are projecting to receivemore than $60 million for economic development purposes annually."

By endorsing the amendment, GCP will assist the campaign in a varietyof ways, including coalition building and participating in discussions tomaximize the impact of the economic development opportunities.

"We look forward to seeing Ohio reclaim some of the gaming revenue thatis lost to our neighboring states," said Joe Roman, President and CEO ofGCP. "In crafting the language, we were adamant that revenues should not beused to replace or reduce current state funding provided to localgovernments. The language in the Constitutional amendment is very clear.Gaming revenues must be invested in job creation and economic developmentstrategies developed by local public and civic leadership. The securescholarship funds increase the number of Ohioans with a college educationby helping Ohio's high school students attend one of Ohio's colleges anduniversities. And Ohio will lead the nation in the amount of funds itcommits to treating existing problem gamblers and preventing new problemgambling habits."

The studies used by the GCP Board of Directors represent the mostcomprehensive analysis of the gaming issue undertaken in Ohio in more thana decade. They were conducted by researchers at Strategic PartnerManagement Consulting and the Maxine Levin Goodman College of Urban Affairsat Cleveland State University and are available at OhioGamingInfo.org.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership, the primary voice for businesses inGreater Cleveland, seeks to create jobs and wealth, and improve theeconomic vitality of the region. Its priorities include technology,innovation and high-growth businesses; connected physical development;education and workforce development; and business attraction, retention andexpansion. The GCP emphasizes service to its more than 16,400 members;advocacy on behalf of members and the region; diversity and inclusion; andinternationalization of the region and its businesses.GCPartnership.com

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