It’s official.

The $400 million casino that was supposed to be opened next year in Cincinnati has now been delayed until at least 2013 and could end being smaller than expected “because of an ongoing impasse with Gov. John Kasich over casino taxes and fees.”

As we’ve been reporting, Kasich’s indecisiveness is causing billions in new investment in Ohio to be delayed – along with the relatively-high paying (compared to Bob Evans, for example) construction and casino jobs it would create.

There is no getting around the fact that this delay hurts Ohio. But to understand Kasich’s motivation for the delay, you really have to ask yourself: who does it help?

One answer, of course, is the Indiana casinos who stand to lose business from Ohioans once Ohio has casinos of their own.

And as we recently pointed out, Kasich’s long time friends Doug Preisse and Robert Klaffky are now working as lobbyists for the Indiana casinos.

Could they be responsible for convincing Kasich to delay the opening to help out their client?

This delay is worth millions of dollars to the Indiana casinos. Millions that would have been spent in Ohio – on Ohio jobs, for Ohio taxes. Whether they had anything to do with it or not, they are at least taking credit for it with their employer.

At the very least, Kasich is responsible for delaying billions in investment and delaying thousands of Ohioans from getting back to work.

But could Kasich be putting the best interests of his friends and their out of state clients AHEAD of Ohio’s?

It certainly seems like a question worth asking.