Anti-gambling group dealt setback on lottery terminals

COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio court delivered a setback Thursday to an anti-gambling group that is seeking to challenge Gov. John Kasich’s decision to legalize slot machine-like video lottery terminals at Ohio’s seven horse tracks.

In a unanimous ruling, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling that the Ohio Roundtable lacks legal standing and cannot proceed.

Roundtable Vice President Rob Walgate said the group is weighing its next legal move. The overall suit argues Kasich improperly expanded the lottery by allowing the devices without putting the question to voters.

In 2009, Ohio voters approved casino gambling at four sites in the state with backers promising new jobs and opponents warning about more gambling addicts. Casinos moved forward in Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo and Cincinnati.

An agreement Kasich signed after the vote allowed a gambling company building two of the casinos to move its two horse racing tracks to other locations to avoid competition between tracks and casinos. Under the deal, Wyomissing, Pa.-based Penn National agreed to pay the state $150 million in relocation fees.

Ohio Roundtable filed its lawsuit in October 2011 against Kasich, the Ohio tax commissioner, the Ohio Lottery Commission, the Ohio Casino Control Commission and associated members of the commissions claiming the video lottery terminals are unconstitutional.

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