Ohio Senate OKs extending Internet cafe moratorium

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A bill to immediately halt the expansion of Internet cafes statewide has cleared the Ohio Senate.

The measure would extend a current moratorium on the opening of new sweepstakes gambling operations until June 2014. Current facilities' operators would have to file more thorough affidavits with the state, or they could face a fine of up to $1,000 a day.

The state Senate passed the bill on a 33-0 vote Wednesday, sending it to the House.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine calls the cafes illegal gambling operations. He has sued three facilities that failed to file affidavits after the 2012 moratorium took effect.

The industry calls the facilities legal. Patrons buy cards for phone and Internet time with chances to play computer games that operate like slot machines with cash prizes.

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