COLUMBUS, Ohio — State officials are being asked to approve spending $21.9 million on new gambling machines that will help raise money for veterans' posts and fraternal organizations.
The revised proposal by the Ohio Lottery Commission for "multi-purpose, next generation" gambling machines is expected to go before the state Controlling Board next week. The machines will replace video raffle machines that the state deemed illegal.
The veterans' posts and fraternal organizations would accept the new machines, after rejecting the version proposed last fall because they didn't generate enough money to cover operating costs and charity donations, according to The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1kua3th ).
Lottery spokeswoman Danielle Frizzi-Babb said 188 posts and lodges have committed to take 555 machines the agency plans to buy. Many more are interested, she said.
The machines would generate money for the state education fund — an estimated $10 million a year — as well as $7 million a year for the posts, lodges and charities.
The lottery is committed to buying 1,200 machines from Intralot, a Greece-based international company that has the general Ohio Lottery Commission contract for gambling machines and games.
The new games are being sought because Attorney General Mike DeWine determined that the raffle machines previously being used in the posts and fraternal lodges were illegal gambling devices. He ordered them shut down, but a coalition of the groups went to court and obtained a reprieve while the case is considered.
In the meantime, the raffle games, which play much like slot machines, are allowed to continue operating under a court order.
Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com