The State of Ohio Thursday hired two gaming consultants to advise the state on how to get its gaming policies on the same page.
"The gaming business in this state is just so disconbobulated, it doesn't fit together," the governor told Newsnet 5 Tuesday.
In a release the state announced that Spectrum Gaming Group of Linwood, NJ and Moelis & Company of Los Angeles will be hired to help in figuring out how to best maximise the potential of the four new casinos slated to open in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo as well as whether to pursue allowing video lottery terminals or VLTs at the state's horse tracks.
"Shoud I decide to go forward with it how does that affect the casino," said Kasich. "At the end of the day we want to make sure if we do additional gaming that it all fits together."
Spectrum Gaming Group was founded in 1993 by Fredric Gushin and Michael Pollock. Gushin spent 13 years with New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement overseeing for the State the openings of 12 Atlantic City casino hotels.
"They are very reputable," said casino analyst and publisher Roger Gros. "I think what they're going to do is evaluate what the industry, as it's currently set up, will do for the state. What any increases in taxes and fees would do to it and kind of just give them a picture of exactly what would happen if the industry is left alone or if it increased its fees," he said.
Gros said its a familiar path for Spectrum. "They've gotten a lot of work for governments in the past. They did a study for the State of Massachusetts on the impact of the casino industry on that state."
That study looking at everything related to the potential expansion of gaming in the state, from how many visitors might be expected, where the betting dollars would come from and what might the impact be on other forms of betting like the state lottery.
One recommendation Spectrum made in the 2008 report was that the state refrain from the urge to seek a tax rate on gross casino revenues of over 27 percent.
Ohio's rate is set by the Issue 3 referendum at 33 percent while neighboring Pennsylvania's rate for slots is 55 percent and 16 percent for table games.
The report states "higher rates, while they might be tempting as a means of addressing near-term budget shortfalls, would likely result in less investment, fewer jobs and potentially less overall gaming revenue in the long term."
"Even at 27 percent," the report continued "Massachusetts casinos would be at a material disadvantage against their most direct competitors in Connecticut, as well as against some more distant competitors in New Jersey and elsewhere."
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