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Be Skeptical Of Predictions

A word of warning to those who jump on bandwagons, or make moves based on the advice of “the experts:” Results may vary.

Remember, almost a decade ago, when the experts — that is, advocates for casinos in Ohio — predicted that the four locations at the time would generate $1.9 billion in revenue before taxes? That did not happen, according to a report by the Dayton Daily News.

In fact, not one estimate presented to the public when the idea was pitched to them turned out to be correct.

“All of them (the early projections) were wrong. It wasn’t just the campaign (for the amendment) that overestimated,” according to Matthew Schuler, executive director of the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

In 2009, the University of Cincinnati said the casino ballot proposal would generate “nearly $11 billion in total economic impacts and more than $4 billion in fiscal revenues for the state of Ohio during construction and the first five years of operation.”

Wrong again.

According to the Daily News report, the state has gotten just more than $1 billion in tax revenue since the casinos opened. Sometimes, the “experts” have stars in their eyes. But Ohio was ready, at the time, to jump in with the likes of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Michigan. It turns out the piece of the pie was not quite as big as officials had hoped.

Today, the Buckeye State is set to become the first in the nation to accept bitcoin as payment for tax bills. The flailing cryptocurrency was the talk of Wall Street a year or two ago. But it has struggled. Though bitcoin was the height of tech-trendiness at the start, Ohio may be a bit behind the curve.

It appears, for now, as though there is little to lose in simply accepting a new form of payment; but the effort to appear tech-friendly and in-the-know to companies considering a move to Ohio may — again –not yield quite the results expected.

It is always good to be on the lookout for new ideas. But real progress comes from thinking outside the box, ahead of the curve.


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