Anti-Gambling Group Sues Kasich Over 'Racinos'

Monday, 24 Oct 2011 05:13 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich is being sued over plans to add slot machines to the state’s seven horse-racing tracks. The Ohio Roundtable, an anti-gambling group, says Kasich’s plan to turn the tracks into “racinos,” connecting them with the Ohio Lottery, is unconstitutional, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reported.
 
“He has taken short cuts and negotiated back room deals,” said Roundtable Vice President Rob Walgate, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, filed in the Franklin County Court in Columbus. He has attempted to use legislative action to deconstruct specific sections of the [Ohio] Constitution and implement his will.”
 
Kasich on Thursday signed an executive order, allowing the state’s lottery to begin allowing the tracks to reconfigure and apply for video lottery terminals (VLTs).
 
The Ohio governor says VLTs will bring in much-needed money for the state, where voters two years ago approved an amendment allowing full casinos to be built in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Toledo.
 
Walgate says VLTs should also go through a similar statewide vote before approval, and maintains Kasich “cannot abandon the rule of law just to turn a fast buck for the state.”

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