The card room provision was removed from Substitute H.B. 386 right before the Ohio Senate voted to pass the bill. The chairman of the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee said that charity card rooms would be dealt with in a separate bill sometime in the future.
The bill later stalled in the House. A joint committee met this week and will meet again next week in an attempt to reconcile the differences. Rep. Louis Blessing, sponsor of the bill, said there was about a 60-40 chance of something getting done before lawmakers leave on summer recess.
Revenues from VLTs to host cities is one of the major sticking points. House Democrats want host cities to get a cut of VLT revenues to help pay for safety services. Senate Republicans argue host cities are well established and will see substantial increases in property taxes so the money is already there. Since the government’s share of the VLT revenue will be lottery proceeds, and the constitution requires lottery proceeds to support education, the options to redirect proceeds to the host cities are limited.