CUYAHOGA COUNTY -- Some internet cafe operators think it's curious that orders to shut them down came just a couple weeks after the Horseshoe Casino opened in the same county.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason denies any connection, saying he knew some would suspect some kind of link.
"I've not talked to anybody. Nobody talked to me or my office about operations going on...I knew when this was set that would be suggested. My choice was to wait. What sense would that make?...I'm sorry about their investments...They probably had a pretty good idea what they were getting into," he said.
Mason said all 50 Internet Cafes in the county received letters, telling them to close or face legal action.
He is charging ten people and seven businesses who supply one sweepstakes software system with money laundering, racketeering and illegal gambling.
Some operators are upset that identical cafes in adjoining counties are still in business.
Mason predicts other authorities will be following his lead in taking legal action.
He says all cafes in Cuyahoga County have been investigated and an expert FBI witness is prepared to say they do meet the definition of illegal gambling in Ohio.
Mason believes the only legal gambling is that which voters approved in four casinos.