Ohio racinos mean less money for cities, counties

AP Photo/Tony Dejak

CLEVELAND (AP) — The growth of racetrack slots gambling in Ohio has led to declining casino revenue for local governments.

Casino taxes are split seven ways, most going to counties and host cities. But as Ohio’s racino industry expands to seven outlets this year, the public take for racinos goes only to education.

The switch has made some local governments wary of allocating uncertain casino money for mandated expenses like courts and jails. Instead, they use the money for extra items like one-time projects.

The overall casino tax pot is shrinking. Ohio is distributing $68 million, the local cut of taxes collected from casinos from October through December. That was 2.2 percent less than the last quarterly disbursement.

On the racino side, the October-December take was $28.1 million, up 25 percent.

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