Mike DeWine, Attorney General of Ohio, has confirmed his office is to begin enforcing the US state’s new internet sweepstakes cafe law from this Thursday.
The Legalnewsline.com website said that House Bill 7, which is expected to become effective after referendum efforts were discontinued, will give DeWine’s office regulatory authority over various sweepstakes terminal devices that are used by internet sweepstakes cafes.
Under the new law, cafes must obtain a certificate of registration from DeWines office and also file monthly reports in order to operate legally.
In addition, DeWine’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation will also have explicit authority to investigate law violations alleged to have occurred at such cafes.
The law will also put a $10 limit on the value of prizes and prohibit prizes in the form of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, bingo, instant bingo, lottery tickets, cash, gift cards or vouchers for any such items.
It will also draw a distinction between casino-style games played at cafes and traditional promotional sweepstakes offered by retailers.
“Internet sweepstakes cafes have long had operations that raised suspicions of illegal gambling,” DeWine said. “Ohio now has a law which makes clear which activities are legal and illegal in these cafes, and we will not hesitate to enforce the law.
“House Bill 7 certainly offers clearer guidelines for legal sweepstakes than what previously existed in Ohio law.”