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Ohio Casino Control Commission – Licensing & Hearings


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A qualified lawyer may be able to help a gaming professional who has received notice of possible action involving their Ohio gaming license. Gaming licenses are tightly regulated in Ohio by the Casino Control Commission, and a gaming professional may benefit from representation by a skilled lawyer who has experience before this commission.

At Graff & McGovern, we have represented individuals and businesses in the casino industry since it became legal in Ohio. Our knowledge and experience of the state’s gaming laws and the Casino Control Commission’s rules and process may be beneficial to anyone facing disciplinary action.

Contact us at 614-228-5800, or use our online form, to learn how Graff & McGovern may be able to help with your gaming license matter.

About the Ohio Casino Control Commission

Casino gaming is a relatively new industry in Ohio, having been approved by voters in an amendment to the Ohio Constitution in 2009. The Ohio Casino Control Commission was created in 2011 to regulate the four casinos authorized by the constitutional amendment, located in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo.

The bipartisan commission is made up of seven commissioners, who are supported by an executive director and commission staff. The commission is invested with the power to license, regulate, investigate, and enforce rules and regulations on anyone involved in casino gaming in Ohio. In addition, the commission is currently developing rules regarding the regulation of skill-based amusement machines in Ohio.

Casino Gaming Licensure

Every casino operator, casino employee, and gaming vendor must be licensed by the commission prior to participating in the casino gaming business in Ohio.

State law requires anyone applying for licensure to establish their suitability to obtain a license. Some common reasons why a license application may be denied or a license revoked include:

  • The license holder committed certain criminal acts
  • The license holder has outstanding liens or is in debt
  • The license holder lied on the renewal application
  • An applicant lied on their initial application

If either, or both, of these are true, the license holder or applicant may be considered unsuitable for a gaming license.

A licensee may not know they are under investigation until they receive a Notice of Opportunity for a Hearing from the commission. Applicants who are asked follow up questions from the application are generally under investigation.

The Casino Control Commission settles very few cases. Most go to a hearing, then move on to the commission for a final determination. Hearings are held before an impartial hearing officer, who is an attorney in private practice.

How an Ohio Gaming License Lawyer Can Help

When a licensee receives a Notice of Opportunity for a Hearing, it can be beneficial to obtain representation from a qualified attorney as soon as possible. An attorney with experience handling gaming license matters before the Casino Control Commission may explain the licensee’s legal options and rights in the process, and may be able to advise the licensee about the best path forward.

Voluntary Exclusion Program

The Casino Control Commission is also involved in a Voluntary Exclusion Program. Patrons may sign an agreement with the Casino Control Commission, agreeing not to enter a casino for a period of one year, five years, or for a lifetime.

Many people sign these documents not understanding their full meanings or their rights. An attorney should be consulted prior to signing any type of contract, including this.

Contact Graff & McGovern Today

Our attorneys at Graff & McGovern have experience with cases before the Casino Control Commission. We may be able to resolve a case if we are involved from the beginning. Otherwise, we can provide representation during the hearing process to defend a licensee’s or applicant’s position.

Contact us today at 614-228-5800, or use our online form, to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced and qualified Ohio gaming license lawyers.