11/08/2006 12:00AM

Ohio voters reject slots

Email

Voters in Ohio rejected a referendum on Tuesday that would have allowed slot machines at nine sites in the state, including seven racetracks.

With all precincts reporting, 57 percent of voters voted against the measure, which was heavily supported by racetracks and slot-machine companies. The rejection was the third time since 1990 that Ohio voters have rejected ballot issues seeking to expand gambling in the state.

The referendum would have allowed 31,000 slot machines at the nine sites, which included three Thoroughbred tracks: River Downs in Cincinnati, Thistledown in Cleveland, and Beulah Park near Columbus. Supporters of the measure had spent $13 million to get the issue on the ballot and lobby for its passage through advertising.

Under the referendum, racetrack owners would have retained 55 percent of the revenue from slot machines, and 6 percent would have gone to horse racing purses.

The Ohio referendum was the only major issue for racing on Tuesday's ballot.