Issue Three would allow four casinos to be built in Ohio, including one in Toledo. Supporters say it will create tens of thousands of jobs, while opponents say it will actually cost jobs.
Supporters are taking their message to the phone lines. They've set up an office in downtown Toledo and they've called tens of thousands of people. A downtown Toledo Yes on Three phone bank has been running seven days a week since late August.
Jonathan Petrea is deputy director of the northwest Ohio Yes on Three. He says, "When we first began, we had a regular crew that was making 6,000-7,000 calls a day. Now we've ramped things up and yesterday we made about 17,000 calls."
But with so little time until the vote, just how effective is this phone bank? Supporters say they'll keep dialing until the polls close tomorrow. Petrea says, "Anytime we can drive out our supporters to vote to bring 34,000 jobs to Ohio and to keep 1 billion in the state that would otherwise go to surrounding states is very important."
But not everyone buys into the theory that the issue would create jobs. Reverend Dr. Larry Clark from the First United Methodist Church in Sylvania says casinos don't create jobs-- they just transfer them from one segment of the entertainment industry to another.
He goes on to say that some sutdies show that for every job created by a casino, two others are lost. Rev. Dr. Clark says, "The way this works is that there is only so much disposable income and people takes away their entertainment money from a bowling alley or a movie theater and they spend it at the casino, then those places have lost the revenue. There are no real jobs created here."
Issue Three is a consitutional ammendment that would allow two companies to build four casinos in Ohio and Clark says that's also a problem. "Using the constitution of Ohio to create a monopoly is an abuse of the constitution. If for no other reason, people ought to be voting no for that."
Ohio voters have turned down gambling issues four times in recent years, but some recent polls show the issue ahead by a slight margin.
Toledo native Jamie Farr has come out in favor of Issue 3, Ohio's casino issue. Farr appears in advertisements supporting the passage of a constitutional amendment that allows four casinos to be built in Ohio including one in Toledo.
Farr tells 13abc.com, "I know the Issue is controversial but this is the first time that Toledo has been part of a casino proposal and Issue 3 will create much needed jobs and tax revenue for NW Ohio. The states surrounding Ohio have legalized gambling and the city Detroit next to Toledo has legalized gambling so why not keep the Ohio dollars in Ohio and the Toledo dollars in Toledo. If you do not gamble, do not gamble. The casino would also provide another venue which would attract conventions to Toledo, Fifth Third Field, The Art Museum, The Toledo Zoo and a Casino which would have gaming and a showroom which would probably highlight name entertainment. Keep the dollars in Toledo and the state of Ohio."
Farr is an actor now living in California. He is best known for his role in M*A*S*H and for his annual Jamie Farr LPGA Golf tournament held annually in Sylvania.