VLTs are coming to the Thistledown horse track, but the location is not totally clear. A deal between Rock Ohio and Governor Kasich’s office will bring video slots to Thistledown while allowing for the track to relocate from North Randall to the Akron-Canton area.
Rock Ohio will pay a $50 million license fee, as required, and a $25 million relocation fee to move the track. Rock Ohio will also be required to invest a minimum of $150 million into their facility regardless of its final location.
While no site has been selected at this time, the deal does state it will be within 12 miles of the Akron-Canton airport. Several sites in and around Akron, along I-76 and I-77, as well as the city of Green have been investigated. Meanwhile, slots-like gaming will be offered at the North Randall track beginning next spring. The deal allows for a permanent racino at this facility should Thistledown not be moved. However, the two sites can’t be open at the same time. The final site must be approved by the state.
The deal is also contingent on Rock Ohio taking over ownership of the track from Caesars Entertainment.