Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ohio House Approves Conference Committee Report on Gaming Legislation

Release: <blockquote>
COLUMBUS—Ohio House Speaker Pro Tempore Lou Blessing (R-Cincinnati) has announced that the Ohio House of Representatives today concurred on the conference committee report for Substitute House Bill 386, legislation that makes revisions to Ohio’s gaming-related laws related to casinos, the state lottery, video lottery terminals, horse racing, and gambling.
“House Bill 386 enacts important and comprehensive changes to Ohio’s gaming and casino laws,” said Blessing, who sponsored the legislation. “After much discussion in conference committee, we decided to move forward with the Senate-passed version of the legislation, and I believe that this legislation will greatly benefit Ohioans and our communities.”
Specifically, Substitute House Bill 386 makes sweeping changes to Ohio’s gaming-related laws, including provisions to:
  • Include a moratorium on new Internet sweepstakes parlors until June 30th, 2013 and also prevents existing locations from adding new screens
  • Provide clarity regarding how the gross casino revenue tax is distributed to school districts
  • Clarify the inspector general’s investigatory authority with regards to casino employees
With a unanimous vote of 6-0, the conference committee made changes to:
  • Provide additional funds for the VLT Lottery Sale Agents Commission for gambling addiction and other related services
  • Clarify portions of the racing law at the request of the Harness and Thoroughbred horsemens' associations and Ohio Racing Commission
  • Direct $2 million from the Casino Operator Settlement Fund to Communities in which a VLT racetrack is located unless that community already has a casino
  • Request that the governor negotiate an additional allocation to local communities after that initial disbursement
Substitute House Bill 386 passed by a vote of 71-22.