Proposed Regulations for Internet Cafes

Proposed Regulations for Internet Cafes

Attorney General Mike DeWine, along with state representatives Nan Baker of Westlake and Marlene Anielski of Walton Hills, have proposed legislation that would regulate Ohio’s Internet cafes, including skill game parlors and sweepstakes cafes.

The proposal calls for the games to be under the control of the newly formed Ohio Casino Control Commission.

  • Businesses would have to be licensed, and each entity could own a maximum of two licenses;
  • Machines would have to be certified. Each machine would have a sticker posted that would indicate to law enforcement they are certified and that the operator was licensed;
  • Cash payouts would be banned;
  • Merchandise prizes would be limited to $10 or less. Operators could offer gift cards only for merchandise that the operator itself sold on-site;
  • Licenses for sweepstake terminal devices would be limited in each county, based upon population, with a maximum of 64. There would also be an opt-out for local municipalities who didn’t want these businesses in their community;
  • The number of sweepstake terminal devices at each location would be limited to a maximum of 5;
  • Violators would face felony charges.

The regulations would go into effect July 1.

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