Ohio Gov. Issues Order Legalizing Slots

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Columbus, Ohio (AP) -- Gov. Ted Strickland has issued a directive that will allow slot machines at Ohio's seven horse racing tracks.

The order was issued Monday as state lawmakers prepared to vote on a $52 billion, two-year operating budget that includes $933 million in proceeds from the slots.

Under Strickland's order, vendors will be permitted to place up to 2,500 video lottery terminals at each of no more than seven locations.

They will be charged a $65 million, 10-year licensing fee, to be paid in five equal installments beginning in September.

Half the proceeds from the machines will go to the state for operational costs, anti-gambling programs and schools.

The rest would go to the tracks.

Licensed agents will be required to invest at least $100 million to upgrade track facilities and provide security.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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