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Group Proposes Slot Machines To Help Fund College

A proponent for a state constitutional amendment to allow slot machines in certain parts of the state announced the Learn and Earn plan. A member of the Ohio Legacy Fund, David Hopcraft, said if the amendment passes there would be millions of dollars available for college scholarships. Hopcraft explained how Learn and Earn would work.

"It allows students to accumulate points through successfully completing course work to earn money to go to college. That money will be coming from the proceeds from slot machine gambling at the seven race tracks located now in Ohio where gambling is regulated and restricted and at two locations in downtown Cleveland and one location in downtown Cincinnati," Hopcraft said.

Hopcraft said the slot machines would bring in $700 million dollars for higher education scholarships a year. He estimated within 12 years every high school graduate that has successfully completed all required courses would be eligible for grants, aid or scholarships. Hopcraft said it would also supply $200 million dollars annually in economic development funds.

"Every county in the state of Ohio, every county, 88 counties, and all cities in the state of Ohio get a cut. They all get money for economic development and capital improvement," Hopcraft said.

Hopcraft said that some of the money would also go to treating people who become addicted to gambling. Petitions are circulating now for the amendment to be on the ballot this November. If the amendment passes, the money would be distributed by the Board of Regents. Students would be able to use the money to attend any state public or private institution approved by the Board of Regents.