he company says it's considering the Cleveland area for a casino and wants comments on the two race tracks. Harrah's calls the effort a normal business review that occurs when gambling expands. The company owns 38 casinos in a dozen states and Canada.
Northfield Park spokesperson Keith Gisser said several track patrons have told him they have received the survey. He said the park is hoping patrons will be pulling the handles on slot machines next spring. But first, the state needs to finalize rules and regulations under which the tracks would operate the slot machines.
The plan to install up to 17,500 slot machines at Ohio's seven race tracks was included in the state's us$ 50.5-billion, two-year spending plan. State officials estimate that the slot machines will raise about us$ 933 million in tax revenues to help fill an estimated us$ 3.2-billion budget deficit.
An executive order signed by Strickland gives the Ohio Lottery Commission regulatory authority over the slot machines. Commission spokesperson Jeannie Roberts told the News Leader August 5 that the commission is working to determine the rules under which the tracks will operate the slots and added it is possible the tracks could be in the slot machine business by next May. "It could be a lengthy process, but we're working night and day to get it done," she said.
She said that regulations must address a variety of issues, such as casino security and how to deal with the problem of gambling addiction. Roberts said the commission is currently going through a "fact finding" process. "It's a brand new extension of the lottery commission," said Roberts. We've never done anything like this before and we're trying to get information about how other states have handled this."