Buried deep inside the 4,503-page proposed budget is a provision that would allow Ohio’s seven racinos to add video poker to the video lottery terminals (VLTs) they already offer in an effort to raise additional money for education.
The change would raise $12.5m more for Kindergarten through 12th grade education at a time when lawmakers in Columbus are trying to close an $800m gap in the $66.9bn, two-year budget proposal presented to them by Republican Governor John Kasich.
It could also mean $2.5m more for the horseracing industry.
Ohio voters approved a referendum in December 2009 legalizing four casinos in Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Toledo. Each location includes VLTs and other slot and table games.