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Legislature Skips Columbus In "Racino" Money

A wide-reaching bill to rewrite Ohio's laws on casinos and other forms of gambling is headed to the desk of Governor John Kasich, who's expected to sign the bill into law. Rep. Representative Lou Blessing, the man charged with negotiating a Statehouse compromise, said there was general agreement that Columbus and other cities getting a traditional casino didn't need extra revenue generated by new "racinos," or horse racing tracks with slot-like video terminals. The bill was passed under an emergency clause, so if signed by the Governor it would go into law immediately. Scioto Downs is so far the only vendor willing to pay the $50 million fee for a video lottery terminal facility, although other facilities are expected to eventually open. The bill also places a one-year moratorium on new Internet sweepstakes parlors. Lawmakers removed a measure to regulate charity card rooms.