Created on Friday, 22 March 2013 Written by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
CLEVELAND (AP) — An appeals court in Ohio has upheld the gambling convictions of three Internet cafes.
The 8th Ohio District Court of Appeals ruled Thursday against the owners of the cafes in Cleveland. Two owners and four employees received probation.
The three-judge panel rejected arguments that the cafes exist to sell Internet time and just offered slots-like computerized games as a marketing tool.
The attorney for the defendants, Don Malarcik, tells The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer (bit.ly/ZEqbeQ) that the decision will be appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court.
The status of the cafes has been the subject of intense lobbying in Columbus. Last week the Ohio House voted overwhelmingly to approve a crackdown on the storefront gambling-like operations.
Backers of the cafes say they are legal and help the economy.