Internet Cafe Shops Closing with New Laws in Effect

Internet Cafe Sign (photo by Brian Bull)
Internet Cafe Sign (photo by Brian Bull)
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It’s been two weeks since the new sweepstakes laws took effect, and Attorney General Mike DeWine says Internet cafes around the state are now closing up shop.

The laws, created by H.B. 7, started after a referendum effort failed to collect enough signatures to put on a ballot.

DeWine says most of the vendors who design and operate the sweepstakes software are leaving Ohio. The state’s top law enforcement official says he’s holding off on raids to give companies time to sort things out.

“They’re complying with the law and I think they see that they’ve seen they’ve run out the string," DeWine said. "They went as long as they could go and it’s over with now.”

The Attorney General’s office is also reaching out to local law enforcement to make them aware that his office is standing by to help enforce the new regulations.

The group behind the referendum effort has declined to comment on the issue as they evaluate further legal options.

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