VAN WERT — A Van Wert Internet café is one of three the Ohio Attorney General filed a lawsuit against to close.
Attorney General Mike DeWine filed a lawsuit against A.J.’s Sweepstakes at 1150 S. Shannon St., to close it. The business failed to file an affidavit of existence after a statewide moratorium went into effect in 2012.
“While we suspect Ohio gambling laws are likely being violated at nearly all Internet cafes in Ohio, the clearest illegal activity occurs when an establishment opens in violation of the statewide moratorium,” DeWine said in a written statement.
The two others were in Wauseon and Austintown.
House Bill 386 established a statewide moratorium that prohibited new Internet cafes from opening after June 11, 2012. Even if a sweepstakes establishment filed an affidavit, the moratorium still would be in effect if the business was not operating before that date, according to a statement from DeWine’s office.
The lawsuit seeks to ban the establishments from permanently using sweepstakes terminal devices at locations in violation of the moratorium.
More than 820 affidavits were filed with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office as a result of the legislation. The affidavits represented 794 unique locations where Internet cafes were alleged to have operated. A state investigation showed 623 of those locations have Internet Cafes currently operating.
Ohio attorney general