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Government and Politics


Canton City Council to introduce moratorium law on "internet cafes"
The city hopes the law will give lawmakers time to pass a statewide bill regulating skill-game arcades and similar businesses
by WKSU's VALERIE BROWN


Reporter
Valerie Brown
 

The Canton City Council will take its first look tonight (Monday) at a city law that would put a six-month hold on licenses for skill-game arcades—which are sometimes operated as “internet cafes.”

If passed, the moratorium will give Ohio lawmakers time to pass a statewide bill to regulate the arcades—which are largely unregulated by the state.

Councilman Edmond Mack says that with skill-game arcades comes an increase in crime—especially robbery. He also says that the arcade operators are often bypassing gambling laws.

Councilman Edmond Mack talks about "internet cafes"

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“The skill game laws that are in place are very specific as to what these machines can and cannot do," Mack says. "They cannot operate as a game of chance and they must operate as a game of skill. And what we see often in these skill game parlors is that they’re purely based on chance, and are nothing but video slot machines.”

Cleveland, Parma and Lyndhurst also have moratoriums on licensing for internet cafe operators while their city councils decide on new rules to control them. Summit County passed legislation to regulate the arcades last year.

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