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Ohio House OK gambling expansion bill, heads to Senate

TAGs: Ohio, Ohio House, Substitute House Bill 386

Ohio HouseAfter gaining approval from a legislative committee last week, Ohio’s House passed the bill to accommodate casino gambling and video lottery terminals at horse racing tracks in the state yesterday.

Substitute House Bill 386, which consists of funding to treat gambling addictions, includes an amendment to keep bingo games open until 2am at charitable gaming facilities, instead of the midnight curfew currently enforced. It also aims to bolster local government coffers, increase criminal penalties to punish those who attempt to bribe the managers of gaming facilities and will accommodate the relocation of racetracks in Columbus and Toledo to the Youngstown and Dayton areas.

The legislation is the next step in implementing the constitutional amendment – which was passed by voters several years ago – proponents of the bill said.

As The Daily Jeffersonion reports, Cleveland Democrat, Rep. Kenny Yuko, said: “As tracks open up in new cities, as the casinos open up in new cities, new opportunities will be opening up in new cities. We’ve got four great cities with great people, eager and hungry for work.”

But, as always, opponents expressed their distress of such a bill and the concept of expanded gambling of the proposed casinos and state-run electronic slots at horse tracks.

“It’s just a ridiculous, nonsensical public policy we’re adopting here today…,” said Napoleon Republican Rep. Lynn Wachtmann, “They’re not good for Ohio.”

But despite the opposition, the final vote was 69-24, and now the legislation heads up to the Ohio Senate for further consideration. No further action is not expected for a few weeks due to the suspending of voting sessions until after next month’s primary election.

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