Ohio House Approves Crackdown On Internet Cafes

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The Ohio House has voted overwhelmingly to approve a crackdown on storefront gambling-like operations known as Internet cafes.

The measure passed 66-29 Wednesday afternoon and now goes to the Senate. A similar House-passed measure failed to gain traction in the Ohio Senate last session.

The measure imposes operating restrictions, registration requirements and background checks on the more than 800 operations around the state.

State Rep. Matt Huffman of Lima told colleagues during the floor debate that the bill would clarify for law enforcement what's legal gambling and illegal gambling.

Opponents say the cafes allow illegal gambling. Backers say they are legal and help the economy.

Patrons buy cards for phone and Internet time with chances to play computer games that operate like slot machines with cash prizes.