130th Ohio General Assembly
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H. J. R. No. 4  As Introduced
As Introduced

128th General Assembly
Regular Session
2009-2010
H. J. R. No. 4


Representative Murray 

Cosponsors: Representatives Yuko, Koziura, Foley 



A JOINT RESOLUTION
Proposing to amend Section 6 and to enact Section 6a of Article XV of the Constitution of the State of Ohio to authorize the conduct of casino gaming at facilities in specified locations in this state if approved by the electors of a county or municipal corporation and in accordance with laws enacted to regulate and restrict these facilities.



       Be it resolved by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, three-fifths of the members elected to each house concurring herein, that there shall be submitted to the electors of the state, in the manner prescribed by law at the general election to be held on May 4, 2010, a proposal to amend Section 6 and to enact Section 6a of Article XV of the Constitution of the State of Ohio to read as follows:

       Sec. 6.6.  Except as otherwise provided in this section and in Section 6a of Article XV of this constitution, lotteries, and the sale of lottery tickets, for any purpose whatever, shall forever be prohibited in this State.

       The General Assembly may authorize an agency of the state to conduct lotteries, to sell rights to participate therein, and to award prizes by chance to participants, provided that the entire net proceeds of any such lottery are paid into a fund of the state treasury that shall consist solely of such proceeds and shall be used solely for the support of elementary, secondary, vocational, and special education programs as determined in appropriations made by the General Assembly.

       The General Assembly may authorize and regulate the operation of bingo to be conducted by charitable organizations for charitable purposes.

6a.  (A) The general assembly shall enact laws authorizing and regulating the operation of casinos and the conduct of gaming in those casinos, which shall be consistent with all of the following, not later than six months after the effective date of this section.

       (1) Casino gaming in this state is to be authorized at up to fifteen casinos in the following manner:

       (a) Up to six casinos in counties with a population of four hundred thousand or more;

       (b) Up to five casinos in counties with a population of one hundred thousand or more but less than four hundred thousand;

       (c) Up to four casinos in counties with a population of less than one hundred thousand.

       (2) A tax of fifty per cent is to be levied and collected on all gross casino revenue that each casino operator receives. The tax collected is to be distributed as follows:

       (a) Forty-five per cent is to be paid into the general revenue fund of the state.

       (b) Twenty per cent is to be distributed among all counties in the state in proportion to the counties' respective populations at the time of the distribution. After receiving its distribution, each county through its board of county commissioners is to determine the percentage of the population of the county that resides in municipal corporations and is to multiply this percentage by the amount distributed to the county. The county then is to distribute the resulting amount to municipal corporations within the county in proportion to each municipal corporation's respective population that resides in the county at the time of the distribution.

       (c) Twenty per cent is to be distributed among all counties in the state in proportion to the counties' respective public school district populations at the time of the distribution. Each distribution that a county receives is to be distributed among all public school districts located in whole or in part within the county in proportion to each public school district's respective student population composed of residents of the county at the time of the distribution. Each public school district is to determine how its distribution shall be appropriated, but all distributions to a school district are to be used only to support primary and secondary education.

       (d) Five per cent is be distributed to each municipal corporation in which a casino is located or, if a casino is not located in a municipal corporation, then to the county in which the casino is located.

       (e) Three per cent is to be used to pay for the expenses of the Ohio casino control commission.

       (f) Three per cent is to be used to support purses for horse races, horse breeding programs, and operations at all commercial horse racing tracks that were in existence on January 1, 2009. No distribution is to be made under division (A)(2)(f) of this section to a commercial horse racing track if an owner or operator of the track holds a majority interest in a casino authorized by, or in a casino license issued, under this section.

       (g) Two per cent is to be used to enhance public safety by providing additional training opportunities to law enforcement agencies.

       (h) Two per cent is to be used for the treatment of problem gambling and substance abuse and for related research.

       Casino operators and their operations, their owners, and their property are to be subject to all customary nondiscriminatory fees, taxes, and other charges that are applied to, levied against, or otherwise generally imposed upon other businesses in this state, their gross or net revenues, their operations, their owners, and their property.

       (3)(a) The Ohio casino control commission is to be created to ensure the integrity of casino gaming. The commission is to license casino operators, management companies retained by casino operators, and employees of casino operators, and is to regulate those operators, management companies, employees, gaming-related vendors, and all gaming authorized by this section.

       (b) The commission is to consist of seven members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. Each member of the commission is to be a resident of this state. At least one member is to be experienced in law enforcement and criminal investigation, at least one member is to be a certified public accountant experienced in accounting and auditing, at least one member is to be an attorney admitted to the practice of law in this state, and at least one member is to be a resident of a county where a casino is located. Not more than four members are to be affiliated with the same political party. No member is to have an affiliation with a casino or a casino operator. The governor is to appoint the members of the commission not later than sixty days after the effective date of the law that establishes the commission.

       In order to carry out this section, and in addition to any other enforcement provisions contained in the laws of this state, the state tax commissioner and the casino control commission, or any person employed by the tax commissioner or commission, upon demand is to be allowed to inspect books, accounts, records, and memoranda of any person subject to this section or those provisions, and to examine under oath any officer, agent, or employee of that person.

       (c) Each of the initial licensed casino operators is to pay to the casino control commission, for the benefit of the state, a licensing fee for each casino. The commission is to issue casino licenses competitively, based upon criteria the commission is to establish within sixty days after all members of the commission have been appointed. These criteria are to include the amount and terms of the licensing fee the casino operator is required to pay, the cost and quality of the proposed improvements to be constructed in connection with a casino, including the anticipated economic development impact of the construction on both the economy of the state and the area where the casino will be located, and the proximity of the location of the proposed casino to other casinos in this state. The commission is not to be required to issue all casino licenses at the same time and is to be allowed to choose to issue the licenses over time and under revised criteria.

       (4)(a) Each initially licensed casino operator is to make an initial investment of at least twenty-five million dollars for the development of that casino.

       (b) In order to provide for community-wide economic development, each casino is to be planned and constructed in order to provide overnight accommodations and restaurant facilities to provide for not more than forty per cent of the casino's patrons, with such determinations to be made by the commission in consultation with economists or with the aid of market studies or such other resources the commission considers necessary and appropriate.

       (c) In order to promote local control and increase the percentage of profits subject to the taxes of this state, each entity owning a casino is to be incorporated under the laws of this state, and all facilities and operations related to each casino is to be owned by a single entity. Each of these casino corporations, if sold, is to be sold under the laws of this state to an interstate purchaser. No person, family, or other affiliated person is to be allowed to own more than ten per cent of such a corporation.

       (d) Only licensed casino operators, or licensed management companies retained by such operators, are to be allowed to conduct casino gaming authorized under this section. Gaming is to be allowed to be conducted at a casino twenty-four hours each day at the discretion of the casino operator.

       (e) Each casino is to be subject to all applicable state laws and local ordinances or resolutions related to health and building codes and any related requirements and provisions.

       (5) The electors of each county and each municipal corporation are to be required to approve the licensing and operation of casino gaming within the county or municipal corporation before casino gaming may be conducted in that county or municipal corporation. The question to be submitted to the electors of the county or municipal corporation at a primary, general, or special election shall read as follows:

       "Shall casino gaming be authorized within this (county) (municipal corporation)?"

       Only if a majority of the electors voting on the question vote "yes," shall casino gaming be allowed to be conducted in that county or municipal corporation as authorized by this section.

       (6)(a) The attorney general of this state is to have primary responsibility to enforce the laws enacted by the general assembly and rules adopted by the casino control commission to regulate casinos.

       (b) No owner or operator of a casino is to provide credit or a loan to enable a person to participate in gaming at a casino.

       (c) No person under twenty-one years of age is to be a participant in gaming at a casino either as a player or as an employee conducting the gaming.

       (d) The commission is to license all employees of a casino.

       (e) Neither the state nor any political subdivision is to provide any tax abatement or deferment, or to provide a grant or loan, to be used to construct or operate any casino.

       (f) Laborers and mechanics employed in a casino are to be paid the same prevailing rates of wages for their work as state law determines must be paid for similar work throughout the state.

       (g) An aggregate value of five per cent of the total value of all contracts for the construction of a casino project and five per cent of the total value of all materials and equipment purchased for such a project are to be set aside for minority business enterprises.

       (7) There is to be a casino oversight commission, created as a permanent body, to conduct hearings and make annual reports and recommendations regarding the operation of casinos.

       (B) Each provision of this section is intended to be independent and severable. If any provision is determined to be invalid, either on its face or as applied to any person or circumstance, the remaining provisions and their application to any person or circumstance other than those to which it is determined to be invalid is not affected thereby. In any case of a conflict between this section and any other provision contained in the constitution of this state, this section prevails.

EFFECTIVE DATE

       If the proposal is adopted by a majority of the electors voting on the proposal, it takes effect on July 1, 2010, and existing Section 6 of Article XV of the Constitution of the State of Ohio is repealed and new Section 6a of Article XV is enacted on that effective date.

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