Judge Lets Parties Intervene in Ohio VLT Case

Casino interests are fighting a lawsuit by a public policy group in the state.

by John Kady

A judge in Ohio issued an order Feb. 24 allowing several gambling interests to intervene in a lawsuit challenging a law allowing racetracks in the state to install video lottery terminals.

Franklin County  Common Pleas Court Judge Timothy Horton took the action in a lawsuit filed by the Ohio Roundtable.

The Ohio Roundtable contends a memorandum of agreement between Republican Gov. John Kasich and gambling interests to design a 2011 bill passed by the Ohio General Assembly was illegal. The agreement allowed the Ohio Lottery Commission to regulate VLTs.

Gambling interests disputing the lawsuit include Penn National Gaming Inc., which is building two full-scale casinos in Ohio and owns two Ohio racetracks, and Caesars Rock Ohio, which also is constructing two casinos in the state and owns Thistledown near Cleveland. The casinos were approved via a statewide referendum in 2009.

Horton earlier set March 13 for oral arguments in the case. Kasich is being represented by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.