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Ohio law enforcement continues to raid internet cafes

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Posted on August 2, 2013 by Terry Goodwin

Law enforcement in Ohio has placed emphasis in recent years on fighting illegal gambling operations in the state. Since Ohio voters approved regulated land-based casinos in the state, law enforcement has turned to eliminating illegal operations.

One of the largest illegal gambling raids in the history of the state took place this week. The raid covered seven counties and over 10 businesses. Local businesses, internet cafes and one house were included in the raid. An investigation into illegal gambling has been going on for 10 months.

It appears the raid this week was used to assist authorities with an investigation that began in Union City in September. As the investigation progressed, other counties became involved, including Hardin, Logan, Butler, and Shelby. While the scope of the case covers several counties, it is believed that some operations were carried out by the same owners.

No arrests were made in the case on Thursday evening. Authorities expect to make arrests after examining evidence gathered at the mansion and businesses.

Internet cafes have become popular in the United States, with business owners selling airtime on calling cards and then allowing customers to use the airtime to play slot machine-like games on coffee shop computers. Prizes are often presented to the winners of games.

Ohio law, as in many states, is unclear when it comes to internet cafes. Several courts have ruled differently in café cases. Toledo and Cleveland are two cities that have been awarded casinos in recent years, and courts in these cities have issued contrary rulings in similar cafe cases.

In addition to the casinos in Toledo and Cleveland, regulated gambling points were opened in Cincinnati and Columbus. Officials believe regulated casinos are a safer place for players due to the strict regulations in place. Internet cafes are not regulated by the state gaming commission.

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