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Politics Could Play Key Role In Ohio Casino Industry

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Governor Ted Strickland was the leader of Ohio at a time when the state changed it's long-standing views towards casino gambling. Unfortunately for Strickland, he will not be in office when the first casino in the state is opened.

Strickland lost his bid for re-election and along with that loss comes all sorts of questions surrounding the gaming industry. Strickland had appointed seven people to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, and they have already started working on a regulatory framework that is expected to be completed by January 11th.

When Strickland lost, however, many started to wonder whether governor-elect John Kasich would go along with the Strickland appointees. Now that Republicans have full control over the government in Ohio, Kasich may want to put his own people in charge of creating the gaming regulations.

Kasich has said nothing on the issue other than that he wants to take a comprehensive look at the issue. If Kasich does choose to place new members on the Commission, the process of regulating the casinos in the state would likely be delayed. That is a fate that neither of the license holders want to experience.

Ohio voters approved a plan for four casinos in the state after years of turning away casino plans. Toledo, Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati have all been awarded casinos, but the Commission will play a large part in how these four casinos are regulated.

Even if Kasich does replace the Commission members, it is likely that a framework will be in place. Kasich does not take office until January 10th, one day before the proposals for regulations are due. In the event that Kasich does interchange some pieces, that framework could be used to forge ahead with the finalization of the regulations.

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