Ohio Bowling Centers by DJPaparazzi


									                                   BCA of Ohio
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.

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