Internet Cafés starting to pull the plug

The impact of a new state law that effectively bans storefront sweepstakes parlors is already being felt.
Associated Press
Oct 7, 2013
A company that provides software and Internet service to dozens of parlors in the state canceled its contracts with those sites minutes before the new law went into effect Friday, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Another provider agreed to stop doing business in Ohio in a plea deal settling a gambling case, the newspaper said.

Gov. John Kasich in June signed the virtual ban that restricted payouts at Internet cafés, which law enforcement officials believe have been harboring illegal gambling operations.

More than 620 Internet cafés operate in Ohio, representing growing competition to legalized casinos and charity games.

Opponents of the ban announced this week they were dropping their effort to pursue a ballot repeal due to a lack of signatures.

Pong Marketing and Promotions, which provided software and Internet service to 55 cafés, terminated all of its contracts with Ohio retail customers Thursday, The Dispatch reported.

VS2 Worldwide Communication, a provider to 45 Internet cafés, said it would pull out of the state in a plea deal with the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office, the newspaper said. Two of the company’s owners were to face a trial next week in Cleveland on racketeering, money laundering and gambling charges.

Meanwhile, a pair of Internet Cafés in Columbus were already locked and appeared to be closed.

Attorney General Mike DeWine, a frequent critic of the operations, has promised to enforce the new regulations limiting payouts right away.

DeWine is notifying county sheriffs and Internet-café owners about the new requirements, which includes a $10 limit on the value of prizes and bans on cash prizes.

State law enforcement officials have maintained no single law enforcement agency has authority to investigate or pursue criminal charges statewide for any illegal activity at the cafés, which they argue leaves the industry open to money laundering and other crimes.

Foes of the crackdown say the law went too far in limiting activity at the parlors, many of which they describe as mom-and-pop operations that provide jobs in local communities.

Comments

xtensionofme

It's about time! : )

deertracker

Imagine that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whopper2013

Why not just create a gaming commission to police theses smaller sites? Create jobs and allow these smaller "Mom and Pop" parlors to remain in business.

grandmasgirl

Of course they want to pull the plug. They would rather someone go to one of the state run places and lose hundreds of dollars rather than go to a local place and lose $20.

gennycreamale

Grandma...you are dead on!! Regulate them if that was really the concern. But it was not. It was a way fl allow the state to funnel money into their pockets.
Who lost out again?? The already struggling cities who were collecting terminal fees per screen, in most cities.
So if the state does not get the cash they would rather put people out of jobs for their greed.
I have never set foot into one of these but live near one. Zero complaints from anyone and KT was usually husband and wives coming and going spending a few cheap hours of entertainment together.
Seems to me how Vegas used to be is now in Ohio. If the right people don't have their hands in it then they will make that happen one way or the other.
Big whoop let granny spend her 20 bucks in a machine instead of 30 on parking at the horseshoe

starryeyes83

Now if they could pull the plug on the robo calls..

"Hi this is Rachael, there is no problem with your credit..."

"This is John from the shipping..."

" Your cut of the "federal stimulus"... ( okay that one is really old) But I still get them.

Most of the time I hang up, but then I get a little ornery and mess with them a little. ;}

bella39

Cut it out only $20!.. I work at one of these places and them senior citizens among all other ages spent way more than $20 and the ones that did came every day so do the math on that! I've heard them b**** about how they have no groceries for the week they had no gas for the car their late on the rent or they didn't pay their rent because I can't stay out of these conveniently gambling spots.. not to mention these owners were making a killing little do you know...

Nemesis

Well, that's their choice, in a free country, which this used to be.

2cents

"Internet cafés"

I never understood the title, it seems more like a shady place that perverts would go to brose teens using someone else's IP address.