COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Ohio Lottery's plan to replace illegal video raffle machines with new gambling devices at veterans posts and fraternal lodges is unconstitutional because the amount of net proceeds it would yield for education would be too small, the state attorney general said.
Lottery proceeds must go to education under Ohio law and a voter-approved amendment to the state constitution, though they don't specify an amount, The Columbus Dispatch reported (http://bit.ly/1gV9bw7 ).
Under the proposal to offer 1,200 next-generation electronic games at posts around the state, the proceeds benefiting schools would be "minuscule," said DeWine, who earlier deemed the existing raffle machines illegal.
An analysis by his office estimated the plan for the new gambling machines would provide $1,375 toward education for each $100,000 bet, compared with about $30,000 that goes to education for each $100,000 bet in existing lottery games.
"That clearly, in my opinion, is not constitutional," DeWine said. "That would break faith with the voters of the state of Ohio."
Rob Nichols, a spokesman for Gov. John Kasich, said the plan shared with DeWine's office was an initial concept that has changed significantly, and a revised plan slated to be discussed with the attorney general next month is expected to address DeWine's concerns.
"Under our plan, veterans and fraternals will get more money for charity and there will be more money for education," Nichols said. "Education is currently shut out of the illegal raffle system."
Members of the Ohio Veterans and Fraternal Charitable Coalition have said they don't want the next-generation electronic games because the arrangement wouldn't let posts generate enough for charity.
An Ohio judge has allowed veterans and fraternal posts to continue operating electronic raffle machines while a lawsuit against the attorney general proceeds.
The attorney general also represents the Ohio Lottery Commission but wouldn't say what he has told officials there, citing confidentiality between attorneys and clients, the newspaper said.
Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com