A $1.8 million “pool game” payout in Austintown has caused a recent stir and gotten the attention of the Ohio Attorney General’s office as well as state legislators.

The Queen of Hearts is a board of 54 cards – a regular deck of cards plus two jokers. Each card is numbered and face down. Patrons purchase $1 tickets for a chance to pick a card number. If the Queen of Hearts is revealed, the winner gets all the pool money. If there is no winner, the money in the pot is rolled over. Drawings continue on a weekly basis until there is a winner.

The game is not regulated by any of the agencies that govern gaming in Ohio – the Ohio Casino Control Commission, the Ohio Lottery Commission, or the Attorney General’s office. Why? Because the Queen of Hearts is a pool game (think office football pool or March Madness pool) with 100% of the proceeds paid out.

Senator Bill Coley believes the OCCC should develop rules for such games. These type games will go before the Joint Committee on Gaming and Wagering. If they make any recommendations, they will be included in a report that will be released sometime before year end.