Rock Ohio Gaming has stopped construction on its casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati until the issue of taxes and fees has been resolved. That could still be weeks away as the Senate is currently reviewing the budget amendment passed by the House last week.
While also concerned about this issue, even threatening legal action if higher fees and taxes become a requirement, Penn National continues with their operations in Toledo and Columbus. Construction in Toledo is 45% complete. Equipment is being brought to the Columbus site, even though there are several court battles raging. The latest is a federal lawsuit filed by Penn National against Strata 33 Investments LLC, a subsidiary of The Columbus Dispatch. Strata had purchased a parcel of land next to the Columbus casino site so that they could object to Penn National’s request for a zoning certificate. In its lawsuit, Penn National alleges “unfair competition and deceptive trade practices.” They have asked the judge to stop Strata from further interfering with the casino construction and to stop disseminating “false and misleading” information about Penn National.