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Internet cafe supporters may fall short

Internet cafe supporters may fall short

(Columbus) - It looks like the campaign to overturn a law that essentially shuts down internet sweepstakes cafes is coming up short.

The group pushing to overturn House Bill 7 had 10 days to collect an additional 71,000 signatures. They are currently checking to see if they've got the number they need. If they do they'll file them, but if they fell short they won't. The law would then immediately take effect.

Mark Weaver, a spokesman for the Committee to Protect Ohio Jobs, said the gathering of additional signatures has stopped. He expects news on their future plans to come Thursday afternoon.

Opponents of the bill needed 231,148 valid signatures to put the issue before voters in 2014. Despite turning in nearly 434,000 signatures only 37 turned out to be valid. The group also failed to meet a requirement to have enough valid signatures in 44 of the state's 88 counties.

House Bill 7 eliminates cash payouts at internet cafes and would limit prizes to just $10. 

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and other opponents of the businesses say they are a form of illegal gambling and tied to organized crime in some cases. Operators argue that they're selling a legitimate product, usually a long-distance phone card or internet time.

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(Copyright © 2013 by Clear Channel, all rights reserved. Photo by WTAM 1100.)

 

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