The city of New Carlisle on Monday again extended a moratorium on Internet cafes opening in the city while it waits on legislation from the state on the controversial businesses.
The unanimous vote by the city council came a day before action was expected by state legislators on Tuesday regulating the Internet sweepstakes parlors, City Service Director Howard Kitko said.
State and local officials have said the electronic games offered at the businesses look like slot machines, and can mislead players and cause confusion for law enforcement. The basic premise is that a phone card is purchased for time on the computers and also includes sweepstakes entries for games.
The city of Springfield commissioners last year placed a ban on current Internet cafes operating in the city, but delayed its implementation until July 1, Springfield Law Director Jerry Strozdas said.
That ban was put in place to coincide with the state’s moratorium on new Internet cafes while lawmakers reviewed proposed legislation to regulate them, he said.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said last year he wants regulations on the businesses that would include a certification and licensing process and criminal penalties.
New Carlisle had no Internet cafes operating within the city before it imposed its first of several moratoriums, officials said.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has said about 15 are operating in the city of Springfield, including bingo halls that offer the games. About 25 total are operating in Clark County.
About 800 business operated the games statewide, according to recent figures.