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Eleven people were arrested in Ohio last week on charges that they were running illegal internet sweepstakes cafes in the Buckeye State.
The arrests were permitted through a Cuyahoga Country grand jury, who decided that charges of money laundering, possession of criminal tools, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, and conspiracy to engage in corrupt activity were appropriate in the case. It is alleged that several of the companies and defendants involved in the case are operating out of multiple states. Some of the games at the cafes were being operated off a server based in New Jersey.
Commenting on the raids Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said, "The latest indictments show that if you believe you can operate a gambling house in Ohio simply by calling it a 'sweepstakes,' you are sorely mistaken."
Internet sweepstakes cafes were have not been made illegal through state law yet, as a measure to do such a thing failed in the state Senate last year. A current attempt to pass legislation on the cafes was passed by the state House in March and is waiting for debate in a Senate committee.