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Government and Politics


Ohio Legislature places moratorium on Internet cafes
No new gaming parlors for one year
by WKSU's GRANT ENGLE

Reporter
Grant Engle
 
In The Region:

The Ohio Legislature has placed a one-year moratorium on new Internet cafes.

The storefront cafes are commonly known as sweepstakes parlors. Customers put money on phone cards and play games for “points” that can be redeemed for cash or prizes. Critics say that amounts to illegal gambling.

Some cities in Northeast Ohio have already placed a moratorium on the cafes.  

Russell Sharnsky is the president of the Fairlawn City Council. He said Fairlawn will continue its moratorium until the state has concrete legislation.

Sharnsky also said the cafes might not be as relevant to gamers after Cleveland’s new casino has been operating for a year.

Russell Sharnsky talks about Internet cafes

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"In my opinion, it's kind of a fad, if you will. You know, it subsidizes the lack of having legalized gambling in the state. And, I believe that as the casinos become more prevalent in the state of Ohio, and people have other opportunities, they're going to turn to other things, other than these Internet cafes."

The state law that includes the moratorium also sets new rules for racinos – which are electronic slot machines at the state’s racetracks.

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