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Second Ohio slots idea

April 05, 2006

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A second proposal to add slot machines only at Ohio's seven racetracks was put forth by Penn National Gaming - which owns Raceway Park in Toledo--on Tuesday. Two weeks ago the state's racetracks backed a slots proposal that also included stand-alone sites in Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Penn National also shares ownership in the Argosy Casino riverboat located in Lawrenceburg, Ind., about 20 minutes from downtown Cincinnati, and officials at the company deny the proposal was made in an attempt to protect that site. There are two Ohio racetracks in the Cincinnati area - harness track Lebanon Raceway and Thoroughbred track River Downs.

Both proposals will need 323,000 valid signatures on a petition by Aug. 4 in order to be placed on the November ballot. If both proposals make the ballot and both are approved by the voters, only the one with the highest number of votes would be adopted.

The first proposal calls for up to 31,400 slots to be placed at the racetracks and sites in Cleveland and Cincinnati. The Penn National proposal calls for 5,000 slots at each of the tracks.

Northfield Park owner Brock Milstein told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he did not anticipate Penn National's action.

"The other six tracks plan on moving forward with our original proposal,\" Milstein said. \"We\'re still hoping they come on board.\"
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