Judge: Four more Internet sweepstakes cafes can reopen

6:03 PM, Jun 25, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Monday afternoon, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Nancy Russo allowed four more Internet cafes to reopen, two that use the VS2 software.

Russo issued temporary restraining orders  for all four, similar to the ones she issued Friday and June 14 to more than a dozern other Internet cafes owners.

These orders were in response to Cuayhoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason's May 30 "cease-and-desist" letters to all 51 Internet sweepsdtakes cafes in Cuyahoga County.

On May 30, Mason announced that his office had indicted 10 people and seven businesses for distributing a gaming software system called VS2 that was used by 18 of those cafes. The charges included racketeering, money laundering and gambling.

In her earlier TROs, Russo stated that sweepstakes games are not gambling and Internet cafes were legal.

On June 11, Governor John Kasich signed HB 386 into law. Once enacted, a  one-year moratorium went into effect on all new Internet cafes. Existing Internet cafes are now required to register with the Ohio attorney general.

On Monday, two of the cafes, one being Cyberspace Westlake, were allowed to reopen, even though they use the VS2 software which Mason says is illegal.


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