Hot battle over Ohio gaming

Jul 7, 2009 5:02 PM
Industry Insider by Ray Poirier | A hot battle over the type of gaming Ohio will permit – if any – is rapidly shaping up.

Gov. Ted Strickland’s plan of permitting the horse tracks to install slot machines is favored by MTR Gaming Group Inc. (MNTG) while a proposal for four specifically-situated casinos, sponsored by Penn National Gaming Inc. (PENN), will go before the voters in November.

Strickland believes he can order slot machines by decree but would prefer approval by the legislature. However, he wants a provision in the law that would permit racetracks that pay for slots licenses to get their money back should voters approve the casino proposal.

A governor’s spokesperson was quoted as saying, "The governor continues to think the video lottery machines at racetracks are a better option than a tax increase. If the Senate doesn’t like the proposal he has put forth, they should tell Ohioans what programs they want to cut or what taxes they plan to increase."

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Ray Poirier