Ohio lawmakers are considering attaching internet lottery to sports betting legislation. Penn National Gaming has reason to be concerned.
While its headquarters and flagship property are located in Pennsylvania, Penn National has one of its strongest presences in Ohio. Penn has four of Ohio’s 11 casino or racino properties.
PlayOhio reported that Penn and other Ohio casinos would support language authorizing limited iLottery in H 194.
But its fear is that Ohio internet lottery morphs into an offering like that in Pennsylvania, including what Penn and others allege are slot machine-like “instant games.”
“If the lottery wants to sell traditional lottery products online – in other words anything that doesn’t simulate a slot machine – we’re ok with that,” said Eric Schippers, Penn National’s senior vice president of public affairs and government relations. “We don’t think we should have to be in a position to compete against the state.”
Pennylvania lottery games subject of lawsuit
Pennsylvania casinos filed a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Lottery in 2018.
Seven casinos participated in the lawsuit alleging that many instant games in the PA online lottery crossed the line into iCasino. The petitioners accused the games of imitating the “look, sound and feel of slot machines.”
Last year, the casinos filed an injunction to stop these games from being offered while the court case plays out. However, the request was denied.
The case finally is going to trial in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court beginning Oct. 26.
Schippers revealed that casinos are in settlement talks with the state, trading proposals on limiting what the lottery can offer.