This afternoon the Ohio House of Representatives approved an amendment to HB 177 which tightened definitions for slot machines (illegal) and skill based amusement machines (legal).
Previously Ohio law defined a slot machine in part as having an outcome "determined largely or wholly by chance," which gave slot machine operators a mechanism to skirt the law by claiming their games were games of skill.
Under the leadership of House Speaker Jon Husted and Governor Strickland, the Ohio House, with an overwhelming margin (89-9) approved the removal of that phrase and redefined a slot machine (illegal) as one which awards cash, as well as awards prizes valued at more than ten dollars.
Legislators also revised the definition of a skill based amusement machine (legal) to prohibit the awarding of cash and limit them to giving out prizes with a wholesale value of $10 or less (i.e. the machines at Chuck E. Cheese).
THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT VICTORY FOR ALL OHIOANS! Citizens have voted three times to resoundly reject slot machines and casinos in Ohio. Today's action demonstrates a bipartisan respect for the consent of the governed.
The legislative process, however, is not finished. We need to redirect our attention to the Ohio Senate as HB177 is given full consideration. The gambling industry will not be intimidated by the House vote. They will put considerable pressure on Senate members to strip out or weaken the language. OHIO SENATORS NEED TO HEAR FROM US!