61 percent approve of casinos; 65 percent support video gaming at racetracks

Ohio voters support both slots and casinos, a new poll shows.

The telephone poll, conducted with 1,259 voters last week, also found that Ohioans have gone from longtime gambling foes to big fans, according to a report in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

While overwhelmingly rejecting gambling issues in the past, voters now support legalized gambling by a margin of 60 percent to 36 percent, the poll showed. And 61 percent support bringing casinos to Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo, a proposal that is expected to be on the November ballot.

Sixty-five percent of those responding support placing video slot machines at Ohio’s seven racetracks, and 84 percent say that plan should be decided by the voters rather than the state Legislature.

Gov. Ted Strickland has proposed allowing up to 15,250 machines at racetracks, estimating the devices will bring in $933 million in tax revenues to help close a $3.2 billion state budget deficit.