BCA of Ohio News www.bowlohio.com Volume 27, Issue 4 (937) 433-8363 May 2009 BCAO Legislative Gaming Project Q&A By Debbie Juniewicz The economy is forcing litical consultant Connie Q: Gambling initiatives have families, businesses and, even, Nolder in January to help the not had much success in Ohio the State of Ohio to make organization undertake a in recent years. What tough choices. One option that grassroots effort to get VLTs in prompted this most recent ef- has been discussed to help Ohio bowling centers if ex- fort? Ohio overcome its growing panded gaming comes to the A: (Nolder) In January, with budget deficit is the potential state. the House going democratic, expansion of the state’s gam- the door was cracked a little bling industry to permit the Time is of the essence as the bit in regard to the gambling use of video lottery terminals state legislature must pass a issue. Governors Voinovich (VLTs), commonly referred to balanced budget, or file for an and Taft were adamantly op- as slot machines. Race track extension, by June 30. Nolder, posed to expanded gaming but owners and casino investors along with BCAO president with the new administration, aren’t the only business people Linus Hartings and Dayton- people were actually willing to who are interested in VLT leg- area proprietor Joe Poelking, look at the issue. islation. The Bowling Centers recently answered questions Association of Ohio hired po- about this timely issue. (continued on page 2) PRESS RELEASE COMING SOON The BCA of Ohio will issue a Press Release stating our interest in expanded gaming in Ohio after the Senate Finance committee finalizes its’ version of the state budget. While we know not every bowling center supports this legislative effort; the BCAO Board of Direc- tors felt it was important to get involved with this issue as they felt when gaming comes to Ohio, bowling centers should have the opportunity to install VLT’s if they so desired. It is possible that bowling centers around the state might be contacted by the local media. If you do not wish to make a statement, you can direct the media to contact our gaming lobbyist, Connie Nolder, or several of our Ohio proprietors, to make a statement on your behalf. These members have taken a media training course to help them interact with the media. Patti Rebman-Bellman 440-282-6761 Center Bob McCracken 614-561-2823 Cell Frank Ruggerie 513-520-9080 Cell Glenn Gable 216-470-1885 Cell Peppe Smith 330-518-4726 Cell Connie Nolder 614-329-6100 Cell V OLUME 2 7, I SSUE 4 BCA OF OHIO PAGE 2 BCAO Legislative Gaming Project Q&A By Debbie Juniewicz (continued from page 1) Q: How did the BCAO fit into to bring them in. And if we shortly after. That makes a this issue? don’t promote ourselves first, huge difference. I’ve lobbied A: (Nolder) If there was a pos- nobody will. for more than 20 years and sibility of expanding gambling meetings back home are 10 in Ohio, the proprietors wanted Q: Is there a downside to VLTs times more important than a to be a part of it. Bowling cen- in bowling centers? meeting with me. And start ters employ Ohioans and the A: (Hartings) Not in my opin- reaching out to their employ- proprietors are residents of ion. I’ve heard some concerns ees and people in the commu- Ohio. They are small local busi- from people who didn’t know if nity to build support. If they nesses that are integral parts they would bring their family don’t already have one, get a of their communities. If the into a center with VLTs but it copy of the BCAO toolkit. (The bowling centers were left out of will be in a separate, contained toolkit includes the proposed it, it would negatively affect area. And, of course, there will guidelines for operating VLTs, local businesses and communi- be some initial expenses – like a list of Ohio elected officials ties across the state. licensing, space conversion or with addresses and phone addition and the cost of the numbers, sample letters and Q: What is being proposed? VLTs to purchase or rent – but talking points.) A: (Nolder) Our proposal is for it just makes sense. Many cen- a maximum of 10 VLTs to be ters already have lottery and Q: What if expanded gambling permitted in a bowling center Keno, this is a perfect fit. is not a component of the up- in a discreet area. We don’t A: (Poelking) For some people, coming bill? Where would the want to change a bowling cen- gambling has a negative conno- BCAO initiative stand? ter into a mini casino so they tation, so that could be a down- A: (Nolder) This issue isn’t go- would be out of the main line of side, but I think it’s because ing away. The BCAO hasn’t sight, not on the concourse. people aren’t informed or only had much of a presence in the These are smart, small busi- have partial information. Each statehouse until now, but in ness owners and they are not center may have its issues, the past three months, we going to make choices that are some may put in only three or have met with more than 50 going to hurt their business. four because of space, some legislators so we need to con- may need to make major modi- tinue to educate legislators Q: Why is this an important fications to their center and about our interest. We have issue for proprietors? some may not want to jump on made huge strides so we need A: (Hartings) Two words – the bandwagon at all. But we to do whatever we can to keep revenue stream. It would defi- have the ability to make this us in the game. nitely be a positive for every work. center. It could offset the al- Addresses to Know most nonexistent league play Q: What should proprietors do Governor Ted Strickland and attract more non-bowler to move this issue forward? 77 South High Street, traffic. A: (Nolder) The first thing is to A: (Poelking) Cash flow. We’ll contact their state representa- 30th Floor see more foot traffic, I have no tive or senator and invite them Columbus, OH 43215 doubt about that. We’ve all to their center. We’re really Ohio Lottery Director been trying to find different encouraging them to get their Michael Dolan ways to bring people into the representatives into their cen- 1100 Resource Drive business, like Keno, and this is ter to talk about the issue and Brooklyn Heights, OH 44131 another product we would have then follow-up with them The Business of Bowling by the Numbers 25 – The percent of Ohioans who reported bowling at least once last year. 300 – The number of Ohio communities that have bowling centers. 5,000 – Ohio bowling centers employ more than 4,000 people. 250 million – The approximate annual gross revenue of Ohio bowling centers.