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All Systems Go For Casinos In Ohio With Penn National Deal

Governor John Kasich did not like the deal that Ohio voters approved back in 2009 that authorized four casinos in the state. When Kasich took office, he decided to take the controversial route of holding out for a better deal. This week, he received that deal from both gaming developers.

Earlier in the week, Rock Gaming reached an agreement with Kasich that will make the gaming company pay more money up front, and will also give state race tracks the right to offer slot machines. Penn National was part of those negotiations, but held out in the end.

On Friday, an almost identical deal as the one reached earlier in the week, was made between the governor and Penn National. The development of all four casinos can now move along, giving thousands of Ohio construction workers their jobs back. Rock Gaming had halted their construction until the deal was complete.

Penn National proceeded with the construction of casinos in Toledo and Columbus while the negotiations were taking place. It was in Cleveland and Cincinnati where workers had been pulled off their jobs. With a new deal in place, Ohio residents can now look forward to many new gaming options in the near future.

"I am glad we are not only getting the casinos, but also slots at the tracks," said Mike Pelder. "I like going to the tracks, but if I was forced to choose between the tracks and slots, I would have started going to the casinos more often. Now, I can continue to go to the tracks, and I'll visit the casinos as well."

The key advantage to the new deal for Penn National will be paying taxes on their winnings, and not on all bets placed at the casinos. Kasich had been holding out for the casinos to pay taxes on the total amount wagered, but that was likely never to be agreed on by the casino developers.

Instead, the developers will now pay a Commercial Activity Tax. Penn National owns several of the race tracks in Ohio, so the addition of slot machines at the tracks also helps the gaming company at their existing locations.

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