Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Reps. Anielski and Baker to Pursue Electronic Gaming Oversight

COLUMBUS—At a press conference at Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office, State Representatives Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) and Nan Baker (R-Westlake) today discussed forthcoming legislation to establish regulation of sweepstakes gaming operations at "internet cafes" and similar establishments. The legislation will limit sweepstakes activities by defining and licensing these operations to ensure that they do not defraud Ohio consumers and compete with legally licensed charitable gaming activities.

“I am proud to be working in conjunction with Attorney General DeWine and Representative Baker on this piece of consumer protection legislation,” said Representative Anielski. “Not only is the measure necessary to protect the citizens within our communities, but it also gives flexibility to local government to utilize home rule to opt out of having sweepstakes parlors within their municipal borders.”

Among other goals, the proposal will set licensing requirements for skill-based amusement machines, slot machines and sweepstakes parlors; limit prizes awarded from sweepstakes parlors to merchandise; grant the Ohio Casino Control Commission the authority to license, regulate, investigate and penalize machine distributors and operators; and categorize sweepstakes devices along with skill-based amusement machines and slot machines under the definition of “gambling devices.”

“I am pleased to be participating in the process of defining what is or is not legal in Ohio when it comes to gambling,” Representative Baker said. “The intent of this bill to protect our Ohio residents and provide transparency and accountability to these new types of sweepstakes parlors that have opened in our cities.”

The proposal was recommended by Attorney General DeWine to provide oversight of previously unregulated games in Ohio