Internet Cafes

Internet Cafes

This continues to be a hot topic around the state. Another bill was introduced in an attempt to ban or regulate sweepstakes cafes. Among the provisions of House Bill 605:

  • Internet-based sweepstakes games would be prohibited, but sweepstakes parlors could still operate, using in-house software;
  • The Ohio Lottery Commission would regulate sweepstakes cafes;
  • Local government could ban such cafes;
  • No beer or liquor could be sold in these cafes;
  • Maximum payouts would be capped at $5,000;
  • Fines for non-compliance could go as high as $500,000;
  • Repeat offenders would be banned from obtaining licenses. There would be licensing and fee requirements.

Meanwhile, House Bill 195, which has been sitting in committee since its introduction in 2011, held hearings last week. No action was taken and further hearings are expected this week.

Boardman Township 
Trustees have adopted regulations for Internet cafes. Among the provisions

  • You must be 18 to play;
  • Cafes can only operate from 10am to midnight;
  • Operators are required to post gaming odds;
  • Each machine must be tested to prove they are sweepstakes and not slot machines;
  • There will be a $100 charge per machine.

When the state moratorium is lifted in 2013, new Internet cafes will not be permitted within 1,000 feet of a school, church, public library, playground, or existing business with a liquor license.

Fostoria, Springfield
City Council in both cities are the latest to adopt regulations for Internet cafes.