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Ohio Raids Internet Cafes Again

A state police task force specifically assigned to stamp out illegal internet cafes in Ohio struck again last week, targeting three businesses in Austintown and a private home in North Jackson. Forty machines were taken into custody.

Several Ohio law enforcement agencies last week raided alleged three internet cafes in Austintown and a private residence in North Jackson as part of continuous pressure on such operations in the Buckeye State. They confiscated nearly 40 machines that sell sweepstakes games that award prizes that can be turned in for cash.

One of the operations hit is the Gold Strike Café, where one player described the games as “fun to play.”  Other businesses hit included the Club 76, which another patron described as being unobtrusive and out of the way.

The police agencies are all part of the Mahoning Valley Law Enforcement Task Force, who commander, Jeff Solic, told WKBN, “It’s illegal to be paid cash for gaming. Any amount of cash. Any cash payout is illegal and both of these locations were paying out in cash.”

Such raids have been happening fairly regularly since the legislature passed a law last year that severely limited the prizes that such operations can award.