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‘Internet Cafe’ Bill Should Be Altered

December 8, 2012
By THE INTELLIGENCER , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

An attempt to deal with "Internet cafes" in Ohio may go too far and probably should not be enacted. That does not mean the idea ought to be scrapped entirely, however.

Many of the about 800 such establishments in Ohio offer patrons what amounts to illegal gambling. Though Buckeye State residents have voted to legalize many forms of betting, they have done so with the intent it would be regulated and subjected to special taxes.

Some members of the General Assembly worry a bill that would close Internet cafes is too strict, in view of the number of jobs that would be lost. They add the bill could have unintended effects involving businesses that use contests to lure customers.

Supporters of the bill had hoped for votes in the General Assembly next week. Obviously, that should be delayed until concerns about the measure can be addressed.

At some point, however, lawmakers should revisit the Internet cafe issue.

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