Ohio VLT Plan Alive Again; November Ballot Sought

by John Kady

A proposal to allow Ohioans to vote on the issue of video lottery terminals at the state's seven racetracks will be introduced again in the legislature.

Paul Tipps, a lobbyist for the racing industry, said proponents want to get the issue on the November general election ballot. The proposal will be in the form of a resolution, and it would have to pass the Ohio Senate and House by Aug.4 to get on the general election ballot.

Tipps said a group of legislative supporters of the propsoal, lobbyists, and horse racing interests had met earlier in the week of April 19 to draw up the proposal.

"The money would go to education," Tipps said in reference to the state's share of VLT proceeds. "Half would go t o scholarship programs, about 10% to such programs as Head Start, and the remaining 40% would go to the general education fund."

The VLTs would generate an estimated $500 million a year. The tracks, which would get 48% of gross revenue, would be required to have a minimum of 1,800 machines up to a maximum of 2,500. One published reported indicated the tracks might have to pay a license fee per machine.