COLUMBUS—The Ohio House of Representatives today voted to pass House Bill 491, legislation that makes changes to Ohio’s gaming laws by improving regulation, streamlining government, reducing spending, and enacting administrative changes.

Specifically, House Bill 491 accomplishes the following:

  • Provides regulatory guidance for skill-based gaming machines

  • Specifies that appeals will be heard in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas

  • Reduces the Casino Control commissioner’s salary from $60,000 to $30,000 per year

  • Requires one member of the State Lottery Commission to have experience in the area of gambling addictions and its treatments

  • Allows the lottery to move forward with game preparation for a statewide joint lottery game

  • Allows the State Lottery Commission to move forward with certain fees without approval of the Controlling Board

“These changes to Ohio gaming code are important,” said State Representative Jim Buchy (R-Greenville), who jointly sponsored House Bill 491 with State Representative Bill Blessing (R-Cincinnati). “Once this bill is law, the Ohio Casino Commission will have an increased ability to shut down illegal gaming parlor operators and protect Ohioans from those who want nothing more than to cheat them out of their hard earned money.”

“House Bill 491 is a win for the state of Ohio. The bill will do much to reduce gambling addiction as well as ensure that Ohio has a fairly regulated gaming industry,” Rep. Blessing said.

The bill is a component of the Mid-Biennial Review (MBR) package of proposals that initiates reforms to state spending, agency operations, and state policies and programs.

The legislation passed by a vote of 83-2 and will now move to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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