Ohio Committee To Vote On Internet Cafe Moratorium

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An Ohio Senate panel is poised to vote Wednesday evening on a bill that would immediately halt expansion of Internet cafes in the state.

The measure would extend a current moratorium on the opening of new sweepstakes gambling operations until June 2014. It would require operators of current facilities to file more thorough affidavits with the state. Those who don't file a new affidavit could face a fine of up to $1,000 a day.

A separate measure pending in a Senate committee would essentially ban Internet cafes. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine calls the cafes illegal gambling operations and wants them shut down.

The industry calls them legal. Patrons buy cards for phone and Internet time with chances to play computer games that operate like slot machines with cash prizes.