Ohio Senate Passes Ban On Internet Cafes

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An effective ban on Internet cafes targeted as illegal gambling operations has cleared the Ohio Legislature after more than two years of wrangling.

The Ohio Senate passed the measure on 27-6 vote Wednesday, less than a year after blocking passage of a similar bill. Testimony by owners and employees of sweepstakes parlors failed to persuade legislators that the more than 620 cafes should continue.

Gov. John Kasich is expected to sign the measure.

Senate Republicans announced a change of heart on the legality of the cafes last month after a briefing by top state law enforcers, including Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Proponents contend the cafes are legal.

Also Wednesday, the Ohio House was set to vote on a bill extending Ohio's moratorium on the cafes and imposing a new reporting requirement.