A release sent out by Governor John R. Kasich announced that an agreement in principle has been reached with Ohio casino developer Rock Ohio Caesars LLC (ROC) that will allow ROC to resume work in the coming weeks on its Cincinnati and Cleveland casino projects. Details of the agreement, which includes additional payments to the state of Ohio, are expected to be released next week.
“I’m glad that we’ve reached agreement with ROC on outstanding gaming issues, including additional payments to benefit Ohioans. ROC negotiated seriously, in good faith and with a spirit of partnership, and has told us it intends to soon restart construction on its casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati. Hopefully we can soon come to agreement with Penn (Penn National Gaming, Inc.).”
The Columbus Dispatch has more and part of that involves Toledo:
The state stands to get more cash from casinos and the application of Ohio’s commercial-activities tax on casinos will change under a deal reached by Gov. John Kasich and Rock Ohio Caesars.
Penn National Gaming, which will operate casinos in Columbus and Toledo, initially agreed to the same deal with Kasich, sources told The Dispatch, but walked away at the last moment.
Bob Tenenbaum, a spokesman for Penn National, said the company would not comment on what he described as ongoing negotiations.
Penn National’s Toledo casino is half-built, and its Columbus casino has been under construction for a few weeks.
At least one hang-up between Kasich and Penn National appears to be the allowance of video lottery terminals at race tracks.
Penn National, a proponent of video slot machines at race tracks, would move its two Ohio race tracks to other parts of the state so it could maximize casino and race-track revenue.
Penn National owns Beulah Park in Grove City and Raceway Park in Toledo. Kasich is not opposed to video lottery terminals, sources say, but the fight is over terms of operation.