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Ohio vet groups struggle to raise money, lobby for internet gaming
Veterans want legislative approval to offer electronic games again to raise money for their for charities

Jo Ingles
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
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Some Ohio veterans rallied at the Ohio Statehouse today to try to convince lawmakers to pass bills that would allow internet gaming for veteran charities.

Bill Seagraves, the director of the Ohio Veterans and Fraternal Charitable Coalition, says video raffle machines have generated more than $5 million  for 400 veterans or fraternal charities throughout the state since 2011.

But now that the state has shut down that sort of internet gaming, he says his groups are hurting.

Hear Seagraves on Ohio veterans struggle to raise money for for charities

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“In 1974, they gave us the right to do bingo,” Seagraves said. “In 2003, they gave us instant bingo tickets. All we are asking for is something electronic because that’s the way things are going these days – electronically.” 

Seagraves says the groups he represents have been working with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on a plan that would clarify state law so they could begin operating electronic games again. Seagraves says under that plan, DeWine could look at the books of the charities to make sure the revenue is honest.

While this clarification could help veteran’s charities, it would also allow electronic gaming for others including the Boy Scouts of America, Ohio Special Olympics, The Salvation Army, Children’s Hospitals and The American Cancer Society.

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