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March 24, 2009 - Rob Weaver
Whenever the casino issue resurfaces in Ohio, Coors beer comes to mind.
It's not that I associate drinking and gambling, although I'm sure some people enjoy them simultaneously.
No, I relate casinos to Coors beer because I'm old enough to recall when Coors wasn't available east of the Mississippi, and when casinos were synonymous with Las Vegas.
Yes, Atlantic City has had casinos, too. But they didn't open until “Smokey and the Bandit” was in theaters in 1977. You may recall the movie; the plot revolved around smuggling a truckload of Coors beer to Georgia.
Back then, Coors beer was a rare treat to many people who lived where it wasn't available. If they knew someone who was headed west by car, they might ask the traveler to bring some of the Banquet Beer on the return trip.
Then, distribution of the beer crossed the Big Muddy in 1981, and the brew was available nationally by the early 1990s. Oddly, though, if one walks though the beer aisle at a grocery store or carry out, one might not even find a Coors beer. But one most certainly would find Coors Light. That's because the light version, introduced in the late 1970s, is the brewer's most popular product. In fact, it's the third best-selling beer in the U.S.
I think of this turn of events when I ponder the casinos in Michigan, Indiana, New York and other nearby states. They just don't conjure the same image as destination resorts as the ones in Vegas. I've never hear of a song called “Viva Windsor.”
Casinos in Ohio might save the Buckeye gambling enthusiast some travel, but I can't help but think the locations would be Casino Light. A good seller, perhaps, but nothing special.
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