Ohio judge sides with vets in raffle dispute

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio judge has declined to dismiss a lawsuit in a long-running feud over the legality of electronic raffle machines operated by veterans and fraternal organizations.

The recent ruling by Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Stephen L. McIntosh is preliminary, but The Columbus Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/SWpJtA) it could foreshadow a future decision.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine had asked the court to drop the Ohio Veterans and Fraternal Charitable Coalition's legal challenge. The state argued the raffle machines are a type of slot machine disallowed under Ohio law.

McIntosh concluded the devices classify as bingo games operated for charity, which state law allows.

The fight over the games started last year, when DeWine threatened to shut down devices operating at hundreds of Ohio posts and lodges. The veterans' coalition sued.

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

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