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Legislative Alert- HB 158
AUTHOR: Melanie Elsey
November 14 2005


11/12/05 To all: HB 158 is scheduled for a floor vote in the Ohio House of Representatives on Tuesday, Nov. 15th. This legislation would enact a NEW section of state law permitting the use of "instant racing systems" at Ohio's racetrack facilities. (ORC 3769.0811 and 3769.0812) Introduced: 3/31/05 Passed, House State Government Committee (Rep. Buehrer, Chair): 10/26/05 Details: In HB 158, "instant racing system " is defined as a simulcast of audio and visual signals of horse races previously conducted at facilities inside or outside the state, by means of individual viewing terminals [a type of computerized video terminal] Currently the criminal code defines a slot machine to be "any mechanical device, electronic video, or digital device that is capable of accepting anything of value, directly or indirectly, from or on behalf of a player who gives the thing of value in the hope of gain, the outcome of which is determined largely or wholly by chance." [(ORC 2915.01(VV)(1)(a)] Since the machines [instant racing systems] being proposed in HB158 are, in fact, games of chance and they are mechanical devices accepting something of value with the hope of gain determined largely by chance -- they are a type of slot machine. Concern: Approval of HB 158 would clearly be a statutory change to expand gambling in Ohio by allowing the use of "slot machines" at Ohio's racetracks. ACTION: Please make just one simple phone call ! Contact your Ohio State Representative and ask him/her to vote NO on HB 158. Calls need to be made on Monday or early Tuesday morning. If you are not sure who represents you in Columbus, contact your County Board of Elections or search by your zipcode on the following link. On this issue, phone calls will be more effective than email.