News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Metro RTA

Levin Furniture

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Ohio


Inside an internet cafe
Internet cafe owners contemplate the future after state officials move to shut them down
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
Lin-Dee's Internet Cafe in Streetsboro has seen a drop-off since the state began cracking down on the cafes
Courtesy of K. Bhatia
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
Internet cafes in Northeast Ohio are contemplating their future, now that the state says they’re a place to gamble illegally. Attorney General Mike DeWine last month raided six cafes in Cuyahoga County, and he’s offered to help other counties that want to go after the nearly 800 similar operations in Ohio. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports.
Inside an internet cafe

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:57)


In launching the raids, Attorney General DeWine points to a Cuyahoga County appeals court ruling that declares the sweepstakes model run at internet cafes is indeed illegal gambling. And legislation is now winding its way through the Statehouse to permanently shutdown the cafes. 

But in Portage County, the city of Streetsboro was once a sleepy truck stop. In the past decade, though, the town’s main drag has seen big box retail and strip malls sprout up. Two internet cafes are tucked into those plazas, and both report a drop-off in business since last week. 

From player to partner
Anita Carleton started coming to Lin-Dee’s Internet Cafe about five years ago as a player. She has the homey demeanor of one of the waitresses that might have worked at the truck stops of yesteryear. Now, she works at the internet café two days a week to supplement her job elsewhere as a server.

"The elderly like to come in here. They don't like to drive downtown or to the racino. They get to know people."

Games of skill
Carleton says Lin-Dee management has been urging visitors to call Gov. Kasich to protest the state crackdown. She insists the machines feature games of skill which are not exactly gambling.

"It's similar. You buy internet time on a card and you play off your time. If you win, that's the money you get to keep."

And then patrons can sell those minutes back at a quarter per minute. Carleton estimates that the biggest payout while she was working was about $1,200. As a player, she says she usually broke even. And most of the time, if someone loses big, they take it in stride.

"One man always says, 'Well, I fed the horses today.'"


More a social club than a business
Carleton says, “I can just kind of hang out for 12 hours and visit with people and talk and have a good time. And make money at it.”

If Lin-Dee’s is shutdown, Carleton isn’t sure how she’ll make up the extra income. Attorneys for the internet cafes in Cuyahoga County say the ban would cut off an important source of tax revenue for "struggling local governments," and would throw out the good operators with the bad. Opponents say the cafes are largely untaxed, unregulated gambling that can be fronts for money-laundering and other illegal activity.
(Click image for larger view.)

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

The Black Keys guitar tech's moment in the spotlight
Nice job, Vivian. It's always nice to hear about the unsung heroes getting their due! Thank you, Chuck Johnston (Full disclosure - I'm a friend of the Carney fa...

Akron's Tuba Christmas: A resounding blast of holiday spirit
Nice piece, Vivian! Looking forward to hearing you move from flute to tuba on Saturday. Love hearing your interviews and this seemed extra special since I kno...

Cleveland Hugo Boss workers are fighting for their jobs again
Bro. Ginard; I support your effert to keep your jobs, I understand all about concesions, I was a Union offical from 1965 until 1991 and the company th...

Asian Carp control could benefit from bill passed by House, heading to the Senate
help me fight the battle against invasive carp by method of harvest

Ohio's Portman supports lifting limits on party political money
If Portman was legitimately concerned about outside groups influence on elections he would have supported the DISCLOSE act. Instead he helped block it being bro...

Study shows trade with China has cost more than 3 million U.S. jobs
I disagree with James Dorn! If we don't change the playing field and make it a fair competition the whole US industry will be weaker and weaker. Eventually all ...

Video of Cleveland police shooting a 12-year-old is critical to the investigation
While I think this is a very unfortunate, the fact is that police are trained to aim for the large mass of a human to stop them. If they aimed for the leg it w...

Wayne County teacher says he was fired for criticizing dairy
This is bull crap Smithville Schools have changed ever since the new school I'm so ashamed at the district I wish I could pick my house up and move it to anothe...

White Castle is closing its five Northeast Ohio restaurants
you should open a white castle in logan ohio.i'm pretty sure you disappointed,thank you...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University