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Published: Wednesday, 3/3/2004

Putnam County rejects plan for off-track betting parlors

Putnam County will not be allowed to get Ohio s third satellite gambling site.

Voters rejected a proposal by a 2-1 margin to allow Al Warnimont to have off-track betting on live horses at his tavern, The Hitching Post.

Mr. Warnimont collected most of the signatures to put the issue on the ballot in Putnam County.

The state decided 10 years ago to allow each of Ohio s seven race tracks to operate two off-track sites, but so far there are only two - in Sandusky and Mansfield.

Mr. Warnimont had planned to renovate his tavern operating the betting parlor in exchange for free rent; bettors would vote on races taking place at Toledo s Raceway Park.

Mr. Warnimont said he was frustrated by the language on yesterday s ballot. People who voted for the issue were actually prohibiting an off-track betting site in Putnam County for five years.

A “no” meant voters were approving the track.

Mr. Warnimont wanted to add 40 televisions to his place to allow betting from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.

In 2002 Raceway Park tried unsuccessfully to persuade members of Ottawa s American Legion Post 63 to put the betting parlor there, leading to the proposed arrangement with Mr. Warnimont s Hitching Post just outside of the village limits.



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