HB 472 (Governor Kasich’s mid-biennium budget review) has been introduced. In it, Kasich seeks further regulation of skill-game arcades.
Internet cafes were essentially shut down last year, but are beginning to reappear as ‘skill game’ arcades, which are electronic slot machines illegally paying out cash prizes.
HB 472 attempts to tighten the noose by providing the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) with greater regulatory power. Currently the OCCC oversees these operations but does not license or regulate. HB 472 would require all skill-game operators to be licensed. The OCCC would grant those licenses as well as determine the cost of each license. It is not the intent of the legislation to go after legitimate operations such as Chuck E. Cheese or Dave & Busters. Those type operations would be eligible for a waiver from licensing requirements. The OCCC would also have final say in whether or not to grant a waiver.
Violation of this law would be a fifth degree felony which could result in up to a year in prison and the closing of the operation.