Racino issue to go to November ballot

10:25 PM 29 Mar 2010 NZDT
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Ohio governor Ted Strickland
Ohio governor Ted Strickland

LetOhioVote.org, which successfully challenged Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland's order to have the Ohio Lottery install video lottery machines at the state's racetracks, has gathered enough valid signatures to put the issue before voters this coming November.

The Ohio Secretary of State said on Friday (March 26) that the group had secured enough signatures. However, the exact wording of what will appear on the November ballot has not yet been determined.

This past July, Strickland issued an order to install the VLTs at the tracks, but LetOhioVote, a conservative political group almost totally funded by an out-of-state organization about which little is known, was successful in mounting a challenge in the Ohio Supreme Court, and as a result vowed to mount a petition drive to put the question before the voters.

Many believe that the final wording, given the passage of a casino-enabling referendum in Ohio this past November, will be far less generous to the racing industry than Strickland's VLT order had been.

It is also not know whether Penn National Gaming, which owns Toledo's Raceway Park and is in the process of purchasing Beulah Park in Columbus, and Dan Gilbert, who like Penn National owns the rights to build two casinos in the state, will support its passage, or at least not campaign against it.

Ohio VLTs challenged in court; casino vote to go forward.

by John PAWLAK

Courtesy of the US TROTTING ASSOCIATION'S Web Newsroom

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