The company building casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati halted construction last week amid an ongoing debate by Ohio Gov. John Kasich and lawmakers about a final gambling tax rate.
Rock Ohio Caesars last week announced that it was suspending work at both sites — two of the four new casinos approved across by state voters last year — until “these issues have been resolved and a reliable state economic environment is in place,” according to the Cincinnati Business Courier.
A provision in Ohio’s proposed two-year budget would impose the state’s 33% commercial activity tax on all bets placed at the gambling facilities, not just profits, the report said.
The company said the proposal had “created an environment of uncertainty concerning the projected economic vitality of our planned developments.”
The owner of the other two casinos, Penn National Gaming, also opposes the governor’s tax proposal, but has not stopped construction.
Kasich has called the constitutional amendment authorizing the four new gambling facilities a “raw deal” for the state and hired two consulting firms to help him maximize profits from the four new casinos.
Under the current proposal, the casinos will pay a one-time $50 million licensing fee and a tax rate of 33% on all profits.