Ohio Racetrack Relocation Rules Expedited

The governor Oct. 20 signed an executive order connected to racetrack VLTs.

Gov. John Kasich signed another executive order Oct. 20 that allows the Ohio State Racing Commission to adopt regulations governing eligibility for racetracks to install video lottery terminals and to request relocation of their facilities.

The executive order states the OSRC had requested a determination on whether an “emergency” exists in the state. Kasich determined there is an emergency, meaning the OSRC can immediately adopt the VLT regulations by filing them electronically with three government agencies.

Earlier this month, Kasich, a Republican, signed an executive order speeding up the rules process for the Ohio Lottery Commission, which will oversee racetrack VLTs.

The regulations outline application procedures for racetrack relocation, including submission of a fee to the OSRC. The only exception is Lebanon Raceway, which operates on county property; that association can relocate within 20 miles of its existing location and doesn’t have to pay a fee.

Tracks wishing to locate must indicate whether they will operate in temporary facilities until construction is finished.

All racetracks that apply for VLT licenses must spend a minimum of $150 million in capital improvements; up to $25 million can be used for existing land and facilities. The improvements or new construction must be completed within three years of licensing, the regulations state.

If temporary facilities are used for gaming, tracks must spend a minimum of $5 million, not including the cost of VLTs.

Penn National Gaming Inc. has said it wants to relocate its two tracks: Beulah Park near Columbus and Raceway Park in Toledo.