The Ohio Supreme Court Monday ruled that voters must decide if 17,500 video lottery machines can be added to the state’s racetracks.
In a 6-1 ruling, the court agreed with an anti-gaming group that residents must approve the games, which were authorized by Ohio’s governor and state legislators earlier this year. Lawmakers want to use taxes from slot machine revenues to help balance the state budget.
The VLTs look and operate like slot machines but have an outcome determined by a central server. Nevada slot machine makers had hoped to begin shipping VLTs into Ohio’s seven racetracks next year.
Baring any appeals, the initiative will appear on the November 2010 ballot.
Ohio voters will consider a casino measure in statewide referendum in November. Proponents want to add Las Vegas-style casinos, one each, to Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo, the state’s largest cities.