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Ohio committee to vote on Internet cafe moratorium

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio Senate panel is poised to vote Tuesday evening on a bill that would halt expansion of Internet cafes.

The measure would extend a current moratorium on the opening of new sweepstakes gambling operations until June 2014. It would require operators of current facilities to file more thorough affidavits with the state, or they could face a fine of up to $1,000 a day.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine calls the cafes illegal gambling operations and wants them shut down. He filed lawsuits Tuesday against three facilities that failed to file affidavits after a statewide moratorium went into effect in 2012.

The industry calls them legal. Patrons buy cards for phone and Internet time with chances to play computer games that operate like slot machines with cash prizes.

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