AG calls for rule on internet cafes

Aug 29, 2012

State officials estimate 800 internet cafes operate in Ohio, and the Attorney General says that number continues to grow.  The cafes sell time online and prepaid phone cards to people who then play sweepstakes games. 

AG Mike DeWine says there are no background checks on the operators.  and DeWine says it's time for lawmakers to set some rules.

DeWine: they're unregulated.  We don't do any background checks in the people that own them.  we don't know if they're convicted felons or if their just great honest Ohio citizens.  It's a consumer problem; the person who walks in to gamble has no idea what the odds are and theres no control on the payoff.

DeWine estimates internet cafes could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars, so he's worried that they're ripe for money laundering.  DeWine wants lawmakers to require guaranteed payouts, and background checks on owners and employees.  He also wants transparency in how much customers spend and how much money the owners collect.