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Ohio Gaming Expansion Formally Announced

Published: June 15, 2011 5:09 pm ET

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During a press conference in Cleveland on Wednesday, June 15, Ohio Governor John Kasich formally announced the state's casino expansion deal. The agreement, which was reportedly finalized this past weekend, has paved the way for the application process for state raceways to become homes to video lottery terminals.

Gov. Kasich appeared along with Rock Ohio Caesars' Dan Gilbert. "I'm extremely pleased with where we are," said Gov. Kasich.

Among many other facets, the casino aspect of the deal will see ROC make a minimum total capital expenditure of $900 million between its casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati.

In regard the racetrack/VLT aspect of the deal, Gov. Kasich said that there will be a $50 million licensing fee for the possibility of the state's seven raceways to become homes for alternative gaming. In addition to the initial licensing fee, the Gov. Kasich said that operators will have to do more than just pay the fee, get licensed and then open the door.

Also, lawmakers will strill have to give their approval to elements of the deal.

Ohio Gaming Press Conference - Governor Dan Kasich & Rock Ohio Caesars' Dan Gilbert
(Note - Gov. Kasich begins to discuss racetrack gaming at roughly the 5:55 mark.)

"The VLTs will be located at the seven racetracks in the state of Ohio," Gov. Kasich said. "There will be a requirement that these VLT facilities be done in a professional manner … [there will be] a $150 capital expenditure on the VLTs. We don't want some shack being put up on the corner. We want this to be done right."

A report on explains that the state's lottery commission will be looking to allow each of state's horse racing permit holders to apply for a 10-year sales agent license to operate a VLT facility. In addition to the licensing fee and the multi-million capital expenditure, license holders will have to open for business within three years of being licensed.

"Secondly, there will be a $50 million fee for all seven tracks, which is about $350 million which will come to the state of Ohio."

"We are able to move forward on VLTs at the racetracks. This should help the racing industry. This should help the racetracks. And the issue about what people would pay to be able to move these tracks is yet to be decided, but we're going to make sure we have a good and fair outcome on that as well."

(With files from

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