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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Internet Cafe Regulations Approved By House, Sent To Senate For Vote

Posted By on Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 2:21 PM

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The Ohio House of Representatives passed HB 7 yesterday, giving the green light to Internet cafe regulation and sending the idea along to the Senate for approval. The bill essentially caps sweepstakes prizes at a tall $10 and prohibits cash giveaways.

The vote in the House was 66-29.

It's an issue that's rested among the din of state politics for some time now, with dozens of local municipalities instituting moratoriums on the permit process while awaiting a decision from the Statehouse. And that decision now looms on the horizon.

The bill is expected to pass through the Senate in short order.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine sure isn't a fan of the businesses. He's called them out in the past as microcosmic dens of iniquity and fiefdoms of crime. Long on assertions and short on evidence to back up his statements, DeWine's frenzied cries do little more than craft a straw man to balance out the glow of Ohio's four freshly constructed casinos.

"HB 7 is a major step forward to protect Ohio consumers and to provide clarity to law enforcement," he said following the vote.

Nonetheless, the erosion of the cafe gambling biz is nothing new in places like Cuyahoga County. In 2012, then-Prosecutor Bill Mason ordered all operating cafes to shut down and get outta town.

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