The referendum to get the issue of Internet cafes before voters on the 2014 ballot has failed. Supporters, even with an additional 10 days, failed to get the required number of valid signatures. This means that HB 7 is now in effect. One of the provisions of the bill limits prize payouts to $10 a day. While HB 7 does not outright ban Internet cafes, it will be extremely difficult for these businesses to remain open. Supporters and opponents alike believe this will be the death knell of Internet cafes. In fact, on October 4th, the day HB 7 went into effect, many sweepstakes cafes did go dark.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has stated that enforcement will begin immediately. He has instructed local law enforcement across the state to be on the lookout for illegal gambling activity.