It wasn’t easy but after many years of debate and several ballot issues gambling was legalized in Ohio. The Ohio slots will be in Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo and Cincinnati. Each casino will have up to 5,000 slot machines as well as poker, keno, craps and blackjack.
Voters approved legislation allowing the casinos to open in Ohio. In exchange each MEGAGAME casino is required to pay a $50 million license fee and at least $250 million dollars must be spent on building each of the casinos. The gambling operators will also be required to pay the state 33% of all the proceeds from wagering.
Ohio slots and table game players will also be faced with some state implemented rules. This won’t be Las Vegas as no free alcoholic drinks will be permitted; no one under 21 many play any of the games and all casino floors will be non-smoking. In addition convicted felons will not be allowed to hold most positions within the casinos.
Currently two bills, Senate Bill 263 and House Bill 519, are under debate. The goal is to create an Ohio Casino Control Commission. The commission would regulate the gaming of Ohio slots and table games, and create casino gaming statutes. Copies of both the proposed legislation are posted on the Ohio General Assembly’s website.
The casino in Cleveland will be built downtown and will be operated by Dan Gilbert, who also owns the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA and Quicken Loans. Mr. Gilbert is planning to open a temporary casino in a closed department store located in downtown Cleveland until the actual casino building is completed.