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Ohio Senators Expand Poker Rooms In Casino Bill

An Ohio Senate panel has added a provision into a sweeping bill on new casino regulations that expands the ability for state counties to open charity poker rooms. The government oversight and reform committee slipped the amendment into the casino bill Tuesday and it could reach the Senate floor next week. The bill would allow all 88 Ohio counties to have charity poker rooms. Senate President Tom Niehaus characterized the amendment as a minor expansion of gambling in the state. He says he doesn't believe such facilities would cut into the profits four new Ohio casinos will share with the state. Cuyahoga in northeast Ohio is currently the only county with a charity poker room. Neihaus says charities can book the facility for poker games and use the proceeds for their cause.