Mass Proliferation of Gambling Machines and Venues Would Have Severe Consequences for Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — As the Ohio General Assembly pursues an open process to determine the best…

COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — As the Ohio General Assembly pursues an open process to determine the best way to allow sports betting, out-of-state operators are pushing for a mass proliferation of gambling that is wrong for Ohio. House Bill 65 would allow an estimated 876 locations for underregulated casino-style slot machines, providing unprecedented gambling access to Ohioans. If enacted into law, HB 65 would also drain revenue from education and other state and local programs funded by tax revenues from well-regulated casinos and racinos.

An independent study by Spectrum Gaming Group concludes that a distributed gaming model, as experienced in Illinois, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, would result in an increase in casino- style gambling but a decrease in state and education revenue. Under such a system – proposed through HB 65 – customers seeking casino-style slot machines would be drawn to the convenience of nearby underregulated and untaxed operations, which do not share revenue with education and other state programs.

Ohio’s casinos and racinos contribute as much as $343 million annually to education through video lottery payments. However, if electronic instant bingo machines are authorized at veterans and fraternal locations, the state could lose millions of dollars of that funding each year. The study also finds these operations have less experience and insufficient ability to uphold the state’s strict regulatory standards to ensure responsible gaming for Ohio.

«Regulated casino gaming upholds the most stingent standards around responsible gaming, fair play and consumer protection,» said Jess Feil, vice president, Government Relations & Gaming Policy Counsel for the American Gaming Association. «Underregulated gaming machines put the most vulnerable at risk, preying on those with problem gambling habits, while undermining and diminishing the economic contributions of the legal, regulated casino gaming industry.»

Instead of the mass proliferation of instant bingo machines in the state, Get Gaming Right Ohio supports a responsible sports betting model with multiple regulated and experienced operators similar to Indiana and Michigan, giving customers access to safe and innovative products that will responsibly produce $50 million in state revenues each year. Sports betting should be reserved to operators that have robust licensing and operational standards. With a proven ability to offer real-money sports wagering in a highly regulated environment, this model protects the state from being subject to heavy losses due to unexpected sports results.

About Get Gaming Right Ohio

Get Gaming Right Ohio is committed to educating the public about the need for responsible, regulated and limited gaming and sports betting. Get Gaming Right Ohio is supported by JACK Entertainment, MGM Resorts International and Penn National Gaming.

About Spectrum Gaming Group

Spectrum is a nonpartisan consultancy that specializes in the economics, regulation and policy of legalized gambling worldwide. Spectrum has provided independent research and professional services to public- and private-sector clients since 1993. Spectrum is widely recognized by gaming regulators, government agencies, gaming operators and analysts throughout the world for delivering independent, transparent and credible research and analysis that withstands the highest levels of scrutiny. Spectrum also serves as Executive Director of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS), a testament to the credibility, quality and independence of the firm’s work.

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SOURCE Get Gaming Right Ohio