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3 Indian casinos possible in Ohio?

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August 25, 2008

COLUMBUS - For years the Eastern Shawnee tribe of Oklahoma have struggle to open an Indian casino in Ohio. The Vote No Casinos committee said Friday that the tribe has submitted applications with the U.S. Department of the Interior to acquire land for casinos near Monroe, in southwestern Ohio, and Botkins, in the northwestern Ohio.

If approved, the Indian casinos would have a dramatic impact on the casino measure, known as Issue 6 on the November ballot. Federal law prohibits state and local taxes levied on Indian casino. Instead state and local governments must negotiate gaming compacts which may specify tribal payments. The wording of Issue 6 says that if a second casino is built in Ohio, the Clinton County casino would pay "the lesser of the rate taxed on another casino or 25 percent."

"The conclusion is clear: If Indian casinos locate in Ohio and are taxed at the federal rate of zero, I think under terms of the amendment, the tax rate on the casino would drop to zero and the counties would get nothing," said D. Michael Grodhaus, attorney for the Vote No Casinos group.

Leaders of admitted yesterday that they made a mistake in the wording to lower the tax rate to zero and said they were working to correct it.

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