For Immediate Release: June 16, 2011
Contact: Dale Butland 614-783-5833
ColumbusInnovation Ohio, a progressive think tank headquartered in Columbus, today raised several questions about Governor Kasich’s casino deal with Rock Ohio Caesars gaming company. ROC will build and operate two Ohio casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati, while Penn National Gaming will construct and operate casinos in Columbus and Toledo. Penn National reportedly pulled out of the agreement at the last minute and is not now a party to it.
News reports indicate that under the agreement, ROC will pay Ohio an additional $110 million in fees over the next 10 years. In return, Gov. Kasich agreed to (a) reduce tax rates from 50% to 33.5% on the proceeds from video lottery terminals (VLTs) that will be installed at Ohio’s 7 horse racing tracks and (b) reduce upfront fees from VLT operators from $65 million to $50 million per track.
Said IO Communications Director Dale Butland:
“Like all Ohioans, we believe casino operators wrote themselves a sweet deal in the constitutional amendment voters passed in 2009. And while we applaud the Governor’s pressing them for more money, we believe the deal he struck with ROC poses some significant questions concerning what Ohio got versus what it gave up. Specifically: