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Ohio Residents Rejoice As Casino Gambling Agreement Reached

If Dan Gilbert had used last summer the negotiating skills his Rock Gaming company applied the past few weeks, LeBron James may still have been playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Rock Gaming and Governor John Kasich reached an agreement on Saturday involving the tax rate for two casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Last month, Rock Gaming stopped construction on the Cleveland and Cincinnati casinos. The company was concerned that Governor Kasich wanted to raise the tax rate from the thirty-three percent that voters approved back in 2009. Rock Gaming and Penn National Gaming were not about to go along with a jolt in taxes.

The two gaming companies agreed to the thirty-three percent, and felt the governor should honor the measure that Ohio voters approved. Penn National has the rights to the additional two casinos in Ohio, in Toledo and Columbus. With the projects stalled, residents were starting to become concerned about possible future employment opportunities.

"I am just glad they worked this all out," said Marcy Hines. "My friends and I all voted for the casinos with the hopes we could find jobs when the casinos were built, The state is in desperate need of the jobs, and we could not afford to have any more of a delay in having the casinos built."

It was not just future employment opportunities that were on the line. Thousands of construction workers had their paychecks stop when Rock Gaming halted the projects in Cleveland and Cincinnati. With an agreement now in place, those workers are set to go back to the construction sites and resume their jobs. The deal is said to be a win-win for the state and the gaming companies.

Kasich had asserted since he took over for former Governor Ted Strickland that the casino deal was a bad one for the state. Kasich's office claimed on Saturday that the governor secured additional payments from the gaming companies that would benefit Ohio residents.

Kasich had an uphill battle if he was going to raise the tax rate. Already, Ohio would have one of the highest casino revenue taxes in the US at thirty-three percent. The gaming companies had said they would reconsider the amount of their investments if the tax rate was increased.

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