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At a time when the city is financially strapped, revenues are down, and crime is spiraling to unprecedented levels, Detroit is set to take another financial hit. This time not from the city itself, but from neighboring Ohio where the push to establish four casinos there is going to chip away at the city’s coffers.

Our leaders are noticeably silent on this issue that will seriously affect jobs in Detroit —

not that they can do much about it because we live in and acknowledge the free market enterprise principles that allow for competition in the marketplace.

The bare fact, according to McKinsey & Co., is that with the existence of the Ohio casinos, Detroit would stand to lose $30 million in annual casino tax revenue by 2015.


Because a significant number of patrons of the casinos in Detroit — MGM, Greektown and Motor City — come from places like Toledo, Ohio. With Ohio now competing against Detroit, those patrons would no longer see the need to drive the distance to Detroit to gamble.

Just last year, all three casinos contributed $177 million to the city’s $1.2 billion general fund, and if that amount is now slashed by $30 million, it means Detroit would have to cut or reduce services.

This is a crucial economic issue for the city, and could create more headaches as the city attempts to move forward. The unemployment numbers are deplorable as is the case with urban centers around the nation, with more than 50 percent of young Black males being unemployed.

And anyone who thinks the high rate of crime in Detroit is not tied to the economic climate we find ourselves in is living on another planet.

Bankole Thompson is the editor of the Michigan Chronicle and the author of a six-part series on the Obama presidency, including “Obama and Black Loyalty,” published last year. His latest book is ”Obama and Christian Loyalty” with an epilogue written by Bob Weiner, former White House spokesman. His upcoming books in 2012 are “Obama and Jewish Loyalty” and ”Obama and Business Loyalty.” E-mail  bthomspon@michronicle.com

Read the rest of this article by Bankole Thompson in the Michigan Chronicle

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