The Libertarian case against Issue 6

Libertarians, in general, feel that individual liberties should not be restricted unless they interfere with the liberties exercised by others.  Along that vein, Libertarians feel that those who choose to gamble ought to be able to do so without government stopping them from doing so.

However, Libertarians are not supporting Issue 6, which would grant a casino monopoly in Ohio.

Libertarians also feel that those who choose to own and operate casinos ought to be able to do so without government stopping them from doing so.  Issue 6 stops everyone from owning and operating a casino except for the MyOhioNow group.

I’ve touched on this in prior posts.  In my blog entry titled “Deep-six Issue 6,” I wrote:

“For those who are Libertarian who think that Ohio ought to allow casinos, let me assure you that Issue 6 is no Libertarian proposal.  If it were a Libertarian proposal, then we wouldn’t be talking about legalizing a casino monopoly within the state.  If it were a Libertarian proposal, it would simply be a blank check allowing anyone to open a casino in any community in the state without any barriers to competition, much like anyone can open a restaurant or a convenience store in any community in the state.  Issue 6 still makes it illegal for the ordinary person to open a casino.  Only one entity will be permitted to open a casino . . .”

In my blog entry titled “Video and audio against issue 6,” I included a link to an audio clip from WSPD radio featuring an interviewee from the Buckeye Institute, who shared some Libertarian arguments against Issue 6.

In my blog entry titled “Kalin Stipe at Word of Mouth presents the state ballot issues,” I included this quote from Kalin Stipe, who contributes to Word of Mouth blog:

“Why would we change our constitution to allow a monopoly when there are plenty of investors who would open up around Ohio. If you are going to change the law (especially the constitution) for one, then change it for all.

“The worst number of casinos to have in Ohio is ONE. Either keep it at zero or make it fair for more than one.”

Libertarians strongly believe in unfettered commerce and free enterprise.  The provisions of Issue 6 that bar any Ohio-based competition to the proposed casino violates fundamental principles of American free enterprise.  If MyOhioNow wants to build, own, and operate a casino, then you, or I, or the person down the street, or the person in the next county, or whoever, ought to also have the ability to build, own, and operate a casino.  That’s why Libertarians should oppose Issue 6.

9 Responses to “The Libertarian case against Issue 6”

  1. Gordon Says:

    As a Libertarian, I’m in agreement with your assessment. Every gaming initiative we have received has been to create a real estate cartel where these casinos will go.

    Every one of these bills have sucked and this one is no exception.

    In my mind, if Toledo wants a casino, go for it. Same with Marietta, Athens, Youngstown, Eaton, etc.

    With that said, I did vote for this one because I believe that we’ll never be able to get a competitive gaming bill in this state. However, if we open up the state to any gaming, I’m hoping that we’ll get future competition.

    As it stands, here in SW Ohio we already have a casino monopoly. It’s called Argosy and it’s in Indiana.

    I guess, I’d rather have an Ohio monopoly rather than an Indiana one.

  2. buckeyerino Says:

    Thanks for stopping by. Let me ask a question, though. Rather than vote for a deeply flawed ballot measure, why not network with others to circulate a petition that includes the provisions you want, and then put that on the ballot? You have every bit as much right to compose ballot language and circulate a petition as any out-of-state casino consortium does.

  3. Gordon Says:

    First, I don’t care enough about casino gambling to sign a petition let alone circulate one.

    Second, this is the state’s fourth crack at this and it’s the same thing over and over and over and over again. The first time this issue came up was 1990. Are the proposals getting better or worse?

    Third, one reason the ballot language has been restrictive in terms of geography is that the writer’s want to make it palatable to a voter in Portsmouth who doesn’t want a casino in their neighborhood but doesn’t care if Wilmington has one.

    My life doesn’t change one iota whether we have a casino or not. I’m never going to waste my money on gaming.

    However, I believe this state has a reputation for being anti business. Rejecting this along with issue 5 just reinforces to the world we are still anti business.

    Therefore, I’m voting for a flawed casino initiative over waiting for the perfect casino initiative.

  4. buckeyerino Says:

    I’d rather keep the flawed initiatives weeded out of the Ohio Constitution.

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