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State Lawmakers Considering Changes To Casino Tax Breaks

casino, gambling
Adam Tinworth

Some state lawmakers say casino revenue hasn’t been as high as originally promised a few years ago when Ohio voters approved those casinos. So the lawmakers say they will introduce a bill that would rein in a tax break those casinos have been receiving.

Republican State Senator Bill Coley has a message for casino owners who he says have broken promises made to voters.

“You didn’t build what you promised to build. You are not employing the number of people you said you would employ, and when you didn’t build the facility that big, there’s a lot of construction jobs that didn’t get created because you built the facility a lot smaller than you were supposed to,” Coley said.

Coley and other state lawmakers want to restrict the amount of a tax credit those operators receive. He says more than a half-million dollars has been given away so far.

But in a written statement, Eric Schippers, with Penn National Gaming says Coley’s proposal is ill-conceived, misguided and could end up reducing state income from gambling even more in the long run. Schippers says the numbers Coley uses are wrong and says the original projections were based on a different gambling landscape in Ohio when seven racinos now in place didn’t exist.