Oral Arguments Scheduled in Ohio VLT Appeal

by John Kady

Oral arguments have been scheduled on a public policy group's appeal of a ruling that it doesn't have the legal standing to sue over a 2011 law authorizing racetrack video lottery terminals.

The arguments are scheduled for Jan. 17.  The Ohio Roundtable filed its appeal June 28, 2012, in Common Pleas Court in Franklin County. Judge Timothy Horton issued the ruling May 30.

Horton ruled the Ohio Roundtable did not have legal standing to bring the lawsuit against the defendants that included Gov. John Kasich, the Ohio Lottery Commission, and the Ohio Casino Control Commission, among others. Among the claims made by members of the Ohio Roundtable were they would be harmed by the casinos for various reasons.

Thus far only one Ohio racetrack, Scioto Downs in Columbus, has opened a VLT parlor. Other tracks are moving forward in garnering the necessary regulatory approvals.

Though a partnership of Churchill Downs Inc. and Delaware North Companies has received approval to relocate the racing licenses of Lebanon Raceway, the Ohio State Racing Commission said it will examine the actual site plans during a meeting Jan. 10.

The OSRC in November expressed some concern over aspects of the racetrack VLT facility to be built along Interstate 75 south of Dayton and north of Cincinnati. The size of the harness racing surface, stabling for horses, and customer amenities were among the concerns.

The OSRC, which must sign off on the plan, said facilities include grandstand seating, accommodations for horsemen and horses, the racing surface, or almost anything else related to any amenity on site.

"Everyone will have an opportunity to appear before the commission and express opinions," OSRC chairman Bob Schmitz said.

Schmitz said hearings on two other proposed track relocations–Beulah Park to the Youngstown area and Raceway Park to Dayton–would be scheduled in a few months.

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