(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced that since the deadline last week, an additional 105 affidavits from owners of internet café sweepstakes parlors have been received by his office. With the addition of the 105 received past the stated deadline, the total number reported to the state is now 772.
“The total number of internet café sweepstakes parlors just keeps going up and up,” said Attorney General Mike DeWine. “Clearly there are more of them than anyone estimated, which only underscores the need for statewide regulation.”
“With this many known locations, it is reasonable to assume there are more internet sweepstakes terminals operating in Ohio than there are slot machines and VLTs at casinos and racetracks,” DeWine added.
Currently, there are 5,873 VLTs and slot machines at racetracks and casinos. Assuming that each known internet café sweepstakes location has 10 sweepstakes terminals would equate to at least 7,600 internet café sweepstakes terminals.
As part of Am Sub House Bill 386, which contained a moratorium on new internet sweepstakes parlors opening until June 30, 2013, all owners of internet cafes in existence and operating on or before June 11, 2012 were required to file an affidavit with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. A total of 667 were received as of the deadline on July 11, 2012. With the addition of the 105 received past the stated deadline, the number is now 772.
Some affidavits have been received for locations claiming to have been in operation and conducting sweepstakes prior to the effective date of the statute, when in fact there is no facility currently operating at that address. For example, a tip from a constituent indicated that a Willard internet café that had filed an affidavit with the Attorney General’s Office was really a store front and not currently in operation.
Attorney General DeWine also issued a warning to those who have or would consider filing a false affidavit regarding when they began operating.
“The law is clear that providing false information to a public official with the intent to mislead the public official is a first degree misdemeanor,” said DeWine. “We will continue to work with local law enforcement to verify the existence of internet cafes and will take the appropriate action against those who are in violation of the law.”
Ohioans with specific knowledge of violations are encouraged to contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-282-0515 or www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov.
Updated County List of Sweepstakes Parlors/Internet Cafes (Excel)
Updated Detail List of Sweepstakes Parlors/Internet Cafes (Excel)
Updated Regional Map of Sweepstakes Parlors/Internet Cafes (PDF)
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Mark Moretti: 614-466-3840