Judge: More Internet sweepstakes cafes can reopen

12:02 AM, Jun 23, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Following a hearing late Friday morning, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Nancy Russo issued another temporary restraining order, allowing more Internet sweepstakes cafes closed down May 30 by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason to reopen, according to court records.

That follows her first TRO issued on June 14, where Russo allowed four of the 51 Internet cafes closed down to reopen and another nine were allowed to reopen as of Monday (June 18).

Today's TRO covers, among others, the following owners of Internet cafes: CTC Entertainment, Las Palmas III, CVE Entertainment LLC, IBNEE, Cybertime Internet Cafe Maple Heights LLC, and ISHU Corporation, AMA Ventures Inc doing business as Internet Galaxy, according to court records.

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 TRO, 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.

Other owners of Internet cafes will have a hearing Monday afternoon, including the owners of Lucky Palms, Feeling Lucky, Land of the Loot and Piggy Bank, according to court records.


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