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Courts and Crime

Ohio begins enforcement against internet cafes as referendum attempt fails
Group trying to stop the law needed 70,000 more signatures by midnight, and acknowleges it doesn't have them

Lin-Dee's Internet Cafe in Streetsboro saw a drop-off after the state began cracking down on the cafes in April.
Courtesy of KABIR BHATIA
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In The Region:

Enforcement of the new state law that will put most internet cafes out of business will begin immediately.

That announcement by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today followed acknowledgment by those trying to stall the law that they have not collected enough signatures to get the issue on the November 2014 ballot.

The deadline to get 231,000 valid voters’ signatures was today.

DeWine and other critics maintain the internet cafes, also known as sweepstakes cafes, are illegal gambling, never authorized under Ohio’s constitution.

The new law gives DeWine authority over the terminals used by the storefront operations, and caps prizes that they can award to values of no more than $10. The law limits the type of prizes as well, including forbidding cash, gift cards and lottery tickets.

And DeWine says the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation now has the explicit authority to investigate violations.

Related WKSU Stories

Inside an internet cafe
Monday, May 6, 2013

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