Ohio group targets racino video slots

AP Photo/Tony Dejak

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – You may not be able to able to play your favorite casino games in Ohio, if the state Supreme Court decides video lottery terminals, VLT and better known as video slots, are illegal.

The lawsuit goes as far back as 2013. Two courts have said that the Governor did have the authority to legalize the use of video slots in 7 Ohio casinos,which includes Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway in Dayton and Miami Valley Gaming in Lebanon.

But one group doesn’t agree with these rulings; Ohio Roundtable is pushing to take the slots out.

“Whatever action you take has to be authorized by this document right here, the Ohio Constitution,” Former Governor Bob Taft explained.

Taft knows all too well the executive power and limits of current Governor John Kasich.

“The people of Ohio are the ultimate authority,” he said. “They approve the Ohio constitution originally. They approve the amendment to the Constitution that set up the state lottery.”

The state justices’ will decide whether the lottery amendment allows for video slots in these racinos. And whether it’s okay for partial proceeds from video slots to go to these racinos. According to the state constitution, lottery proceeds must go to Ohio’s Department of Education.

Many have a stake in this decision, including the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. The organization filed a brief with the court to support the racinos.

“The folks that have brought this case to bear are typically not folks that would take to task the governor nor the state. I can’t believe this is a political nor a partisan type of issue,” CEO Phil Parker said. “I think it’s folks that have said ‘Should we even be in this business?’ Maybe it’s a philosophical piece for them. I can’t speak for them so I want to be honest and clear. I can only think that maybe for them it’s a philosophical issue for us it was clearly an economic development issue.”

Attorneys for the state say the governor’s acts were constitutional.

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