State Representative Matt Huffman (R-Lima) introduced legislation in the Ohio House of Representatives that, when enacted, would clarify what sweepstakes are legal and what are not under the law.

House Bill 605 would further define what is considered a “lottery” in state law and would give authority to the Ohio Lottery Commission to make rules on what is considered a “scheme of chance.” It is being co-sponsored by State Representative Lou Blessing (R-Cincinnati).

“Ohio has plenty of gaming opportunities that produce revenue for our state and communities,” Representative Huffman said. “Internet gaming caf├ęs are finding ways around the law, and it’s time for us to do something about it.”

Sweepstakes cafes are already largely considered illegal in Ohio, although it is estimated there are more than 800 in operation in the state. The Ohio Constitution prohibits gaming largely determined by chance as a for-profit business. Exceptions to the prohibition on lotteries in Ohio include a state-operated lottery, charitable gaming, and the four constitutional casinos located in Toledo, Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati.

House Bill 605 will soon be referred to a House standing committee and undergo further consideration.

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