Columbus, Ohio (AP) -- A coalition of powerful business groups has thrown its support behind Gov. Ted Strickland's embattled plan to expand gambling to balance the state budget.
Restaurant owners, grocers and beer and wine wholesalers joined the harness horsemen's association on Thursday to back Strickland's plan to allow slot machines at Ohio's seven horse racing tracks.
John Mahaney, longtime lobbyist for the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, says Strickland has shown courage in offering the gambling plan after previously saying it wasn't a good idea.
Prospects are uncertain for Strickland's plan, estimated to raise $933 million.
Ohio senate president Bill Harris has said the gop-controlled chamber is unlikely to approve more gambling without voter approval.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
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