By a 4-3 vote, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that Frederick Kinsey, a resident of Columbiana County, has standing to challenge the constitutional amendment legalizing casino gambling in Ohio and the subsequent laws permitting VLT’s at the state’s horse racing tracks. All other plaintiffs, including Ohio Roundtable, were dismissed because they lacked standing.
The Court ruled Kinsey had standing because he argued he was denied his federal constitutional rights of equal protection. He wanted to open and operate a casino of his own and argued he was unlawfully prohibited from doing so because of the monopoly granted to state approved gaming operators.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled strictly on the issue of standing. To gain standing, a party must have a personal stake in the outcome and have suffered an injury that is fairly traceable to the alleged unlawful conduct by the defendant. The case will now be remanded to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas for further proceedings where Kinsey will have to show he is “able and ready” to open and operate a casino. If he is unable to prove that, the case may still be dismissed because there was no injury to Kinsey. Ironically, if he were to prevail, Kinsey could still not open a casino because the law would be declared unconstitutional and casinos banned.