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Casinos Threaten Delays Due To New Tax Provision.

A move by Ohio legislators to clarify how the state's four new gambling casinos will be taxed is prompting the threat of a lawsuit and a warning about new jobs being delayed or lost. A new version of a two-year state budget makes it clear that casinos would have to pay Ohio's Commercial Activities Tax on their gross gambling revenues. Penn National, the builder of casinos in Toledo and Columbus, says that's not fair because casinos would have to pay the tax even on money they give back to winning gamblers. Company spokesman Eric Schippers says a legal fight could delay the creation of 34,000 jobs statewide and some might be lost altogether because the casinos might scale back their plans. "There are construction jobs, there are permanent jobs, all of which will be effected, all of which may be forced to take a significant haircut if a new tax increase costing of tens of millions of dollars were to be thrust upon us." Says Schippers. Governor John Kasich has said he doesn't think the four casinos are paying enough in taxes and license fees.