The Ohio State Racing Commission has approved rules for the relocation of horse racing tracks.
Under the rules, Penn National would pay $75 million apiece for the relocation of its two tracks from Columbus and Toledo to Austintown and Dayton, respectively. Thistledown would pay $25 million to relocate from suburban Cleveland to the Akron/Canton area. The fee for Thistledown is smaller because the relocation is a shorter distance to a less lucrative market. In addition, there would be a $50 million fee for a VLT operators’ license. Each racino operator would also be required to invest at least $150 million for land and facility improvements.
Before the racing commission renders a final decision on the relocations, the rules must be approved by lawmakers and a public hearing must be held. Commissioners expect this process to take at least 90 days.