Kasich Casino Deal A Huge Loss to State and Education
Well, the results are in. Rock Gaming (operator of 2 of 4 of Ohio’s casinos) will cough up $110 million more in fees, over a decade, to the state of Ohio. That’s $10 million per year for 5 years and $12 million per year after that.
What does Ohio get in exchange for this $10 million annual windfall?
- we lose around $100 million per year in CAT revenue (based on estimates of CAT at “$tens of millions” per casino, per year
- we lose $215 million per year in tax revenue from video lottery terminals by lowering the tax rate from 50% to 33%
- we lose $280 million in up-front fees from the 7 racetracks by lowering them from $65 million to $25 million each
But, hey, we get $10 million!!
Seriously, is this a joke? This clearly comes from the Lehman Brothers school of deal negotiations.
Conference Committee should reject this package and retain current law that sets VLT fees and revenue. The state, and education specifically, since that is where Lottery profits are earmarked, is the big loser here. We could go forward with VLTs and bring in a lot more money and the casinos can take it or leave it. Instead, we give up a huge chunk of that all for $10 million? No way should legislators accept that while their schools are cutting programs and teachers left and right.
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