Central Ohio officials grapple with Internet cafes

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Columbus officials are so concerned about the burgeoning Internet cafe industry that they called a public meeting to talk about how to deal with it.

The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/Ymxyqb ) reports that a city council committee convened the public hearing Tuesday to discuss the impact of Internet cafes on the community — especially as it relates to problem gamblers.

An official of a Columbus addiction treatment center told council members that about 40 percent of the people seeking help for problem gambling frequent the unregulated gaming parlors. The Columbus area has 37 of the state's 819 Internet cafes.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has urged stricter regulations for the businesses, which offer computer games functioning like slot machines with cash prizes.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

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