Ohio moves closer to virtual ban on Internet cafes - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Ohio moves closer to virtual ban on Internet cafes

Updated:

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's lawmakers are moving toward a virtual ban on Internet cafes that offer computer games that operate like slot machines with cash prizes.

The Ohio House approved a proposal Wednesday that cracks down on the storefront gambling operations that have sprouted up across the state.

Lawmakers had been split on whether to enact new regulations or a virtual ban on the Internet cafes.

Critics say that there's no oversight of the business and that the winners are pre-determined. Others complain the businesses take money away from casinos and charities that offer gambling and are strictly regulated.

Owners of the nearly 700 Internet cafes say the proposed legislation could mean the loss of as many as 5,000 jobs in Ohio.

The measure still needs approval in the state Senate.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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