Across the nation, individual states are considering changes to the gaming industry. In Ohio, the House recently decided to add an amendment that would allow video poker machines to be added to the seven racinos of the state, allowing the facilities to offer similar amenities as the state’s traditional casinos. The bill now moves on to the Senate for review and if passed, the desk of Governor John Kasich.
The amendment to allow video poker gaming was added and approved by the House and was part of several amendments that will be of benefit to the Ohio Lottery Commission for the two-year state budget. The goal is to increase lottery profits for the state. The Senate will now be reviewing the budget bill and decide if more changes will be added. The bill must be completed by June 30th if it is to be considered by the Governor, who can choose to veto the plans.
Currently, the racinos can only offer video lottery terminal gaming. There are seven racinos in the state that would benefit from the ability to offer video poker options. The four casinos the state offer table games and video poker. The law of the state sees all profits from the lottery going towards the Lottery Profits Education Fund which is part of the Department of Education. Since the fund was created in 1974, the lottery has contributed $22 billion.
Within the legislative amendments to the budget, the Republicans have added several changes that include the lottery as well as the addition of video poker terminals. The changes include the adoption of rules within the Lottery Commission to add video poker to video lottery terminals that are capable of operating the game. This should add as much as $12.5 million of additional revenues every year.
Casino’s that already have poker believe this will not increase revenue to the state, but simply cannibalize their operations, which will keep revenue flat. http://wksu.org/post/legislatures-plan-allow-video-poker-racinos-questioned#stream/0