[See below for ways you can contact the OCCC to voice your opinion]
Dear Ohio Casino Control Commission:
Thank you for doing what you do. Ensuring fair outcomes with the games of chance that are offered by the Ohio casinos is a vital step necessary to ensure that players are not being taken advantage of.
Poker is an entirely different animal, as it is not a game of chance where the player is pitted against the house, but rather poker is a skill based game that pits players against each other with the house there to ensure a fair outcome (and the Casino Control Commission there to ensure the house does its job.)
The Ohio poker room with which I am most familiar is the Hollywood Columbus, however I fear all four poker rooms in Ohio are suffering from the same restriction with regard to offering TOURNAMENT POKER games OUTSIDE OF THE POKER ROOM: camera coverage requirements that are far too strict. Simply put, the current requirements mandated by the Ohio Casino Control Commission are cost prohibitive.
Again, I do not refer to the camera coverage requirements inside the poker room (where there are chips with monetary value alongside cash), but rather the requirements for the ballroom or any large meeting space that would be necessary to host a large poker tournament. Note: tournament poker chips are vastly different from every other type of chip in the casino, and have no actual cash value.
As a poker enthusiast with businesses based in Columbus, I have great interest in seeing tournament poker flourish in the city of Columbus and in the state of Ohio. Since 2005 I have regularly traveled out of Ohio to play tournament poker. As recently as January 2014 I spent seven days at the Borgata in Atlantic City, New Jersey, alongside hundreds of other Ohioans who chose to travel outside their home state specifically to play tournament poker.
It is to my extreme disappointment that I have learned that the current camera coverage requirements for Ohio casinos (for ballrooms, meeting rooms, etc) are far too strict to hold a large series of events (one that would require the tournaments be played outside of the poker room).
I respectfully ask that the Ohio Casino Control Commission review and revise down the current camera coverage requirement for ballrooms & meeting rooms used to host poker tournaments.
I believe there is a compromise that the casinos will agree to and I ask that you aggressively pursue remedying this matter as soon as possible. Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati are all large enough markets to boast quarterly poker tournament events (if they were able to utilize casino space outside of the poker room.) These events would bring in thousands of people from outside of Ohio. Besides playing poker, these people would be utilizing Ohio hotel rooms, eating at Ohio restaurants and shopping at Ohio stores, exactly what Ohioans are currently doing in Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Lawrenceburg & countless other markets.
At the Borgata, one of the largest poker rooms in the country, tournament series are generally held in one of the ballrooms. Only for player overflow do they use the actual poker room. This is quite common in casinos across the country. It should be no different for Ohio.
The World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPc) Event held in Cincinnati in late 2013 was a resounding success, noted by Circuit regulars as one of the best they’ve ever seen. With your help, Ohio can boast two of these per year (Cleveland & Cincinnati) as well as numerous similar events in Columbus. I fear that if you fail to act, Ohio will fall so far behind that tournament poker will never recover and Ohioans will forever be forced to travel out-of-state to enjoy their preferred pastime.
Thank you for considering this situation and for understanding that the players who you are hoping to protect are actually being hurt by the excessive camera coverage policy with regard to tournament poker. Our local economies are taking the worst of it, however. Millions of dollars are being spent outside of Ohio as thousands of Ohioans like myself are forced to travel outside of state lines to play in a large poker tournament series.
[Here is a link to contact the Ohio Casino Control Commission to voice your opinion.
10 West Broad Street, 6th Floor,
Columbus, OH 43215
Toll Free Line – 855.800.0058
Fax – 614.485.1007
Director of Communications