03/15/2013 11:01AM

Ohio court denies challenge to authorization of slot machines at racetracks

Email

An Ohio appeals court on Thursday struck down a challenge to a directive issued by Gov. John Kasich authorizing slot machines at the state’s racetracks, ruling that the anti-gambling group that sued did not have standing and cannot proceed.

The unanimous ruling, which upheld a lower court’s ruling, is a major setback to the Ohio Roundtable, a group of anti-gambling advocates that sued the state after Kasich issued the directive in 2011. The group contended that the state could not authorize an expansion of gambling without putting the issue to voters.

The rulings have said that the Roundtable cannot prove that it was or would be harmed by the directive, which authorized slot machines at all seven of the state’s racetracks. The tracks have already built or are in the process of building casinos at the facilities, though several are relocating the tracks to areas where they would face little to no competition in the immediate market area.

In 2009, voters had separately authorized the establishment of four freestanding casinos in a referendum.