Casino News

Developers seek fifth casino in Ohio

Ohio Flag

Ohio FlagOhio may see the introduction of a fifth casino if voters approve a proposed property in a new referendum, a developer has stated.

Going by the name of Rick Lertzman, the developer said in a report by Bloomsberg that he and co-worker, Brad Pressman, hope to get a question on the Ohio ballot 6 November to allow a casino in the Youngstown area in northeast Ohio.

The goal is to collect 350,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot this year. The measure would expand the voter-approved 2009 question which allows four casinos and specifying the locations. However, if the petition deadline cannot be met, the casino campaign will aim for the spring 2013 primary.

It should be noted that both Lertzman and Pressman have backed three failed gambling drives in Ohio, most recently in 2008 in Clinton County in southwest Ohio.

Lertzman said it would help create jobs in the state if it gets voter approval for a fifth casino. “We think the voters of Ohio, as long as you could say, `Look, we’ve got huge unemployment problems in Youngstown’, I think the voters are going to be very sympathetic,” he said.

He added that Youngstown’s reputation over the years as a hotbed of gambling would make it a good prospect for a casino, saying by phone from his suburban Cleveland office: “Youngstown has been known for generations as a city that had a lot of gambling, a lot of it illegal,” “We think the demographic makeup for Youngstown is terrific for this.”

If built, the developers argue the location would put it in the middle of a triangle between casinos in Cleveland, Chester, W.Va., and Erie, Pa.