In 2012, legislation paved the way for racinos to come to Ohio. As part of that legislation, a memorandum of understanding called for an annual payment of $500,000 to each of the six host communities. Columbus was excluded because of the casino. However, an agreement was never reached on how the payments would be funded.
Last December, Governor Kasich vetoed a line item amendment that would have paid Austintown and Dayton three annual payments of $500,000. Half of each payment would come from Penn National Gaming and the other half from the track relocation fund that Penn National Gaming was paying into for the relocation of its horse racing tracks from Toledo and Grove City to Dayton and Austintown, respectively. Governor Kasich vetoed the amendment because not all six racino communities were included and some of the funds would be coming from the state, which he vehemently opposes.
As a result of this impasse, Michele Lepore-Hagan, a state representative from Youngstown, has introduced a budget amendment proposal that would require the $500,000 payments to be made to each of the six host racino communities.