The Associated Press
COLUMBUS — A proposal to allow a new type of electronic betting at horse racetracks died Tuesday after Gov. Ted Strickland promised to veto it and proposed a crackdown on what he sees as expanded gambling in the state.
Strickland, along with Attorney General Marc Dann, called for a ban on cash prizes from electronic tabletop gaming machines springing up in bars and strip malls. The proposal also would cap the value of one-time non-cash prizes at $10, but would allow people to build up to $600 in aggregate noncash prizes over one year — so places like Chuck E. Cheese, which award tickets or vouchers for prizes, could continue business as usual.
Voters who have spurned several proposals to expand gambling would view the so-called instant racing machines at racetracks as circumventing their will, Strickland said. The instant-racing terminals give gamblers a litany of information about past horse races, but the dates and sites of the races and the names of the horses remain hidden.
The ban on cash prizes is necessary because determining whether machines that award cash are illegal games of chance or legal games of skill — as current law requires — is too difficult, costly and time-consuming for the state and local governments, Dann said.