Dann's gaming rule not upheld again

John O'Brien Sep. 24, 2007, 1:29pm


COLUMBUS, Ohio - A state judge on Friday dealt Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann another legal setback in Dann's war on electronic gaming machines.

Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Michael Holbrook declined to remove a restraining order that prevents Dann's emergency rule from being enforced against certain gaming machines.

Holbrook, according to a report by The Associated Press, said Dann and Gov. Ted Strickland abused their powers when they issued an emergency ban on Tic Tac Fruit and Nudgemaster games.

Strickland and Dann recently teamed up to reform the gaming industry, with Dann issuing an emergency rule in August that makes a distinction between illegal games of chance and legal games of skill. The rule followed an executive order from Strickland.

Dann's rule states calling an illegal slot machine a "skill-based amusement machine" is an unfair and deceptive act or practice under the state's Consumer Sales Practices Act. It also provides a definition of what makes a machine skill-based, eliminating the existing ambiguity in state law, Dann said.

"The rules are now clear," Dann said. "If a game can be won with skill and pays out in prizes worth less than $10, then it's legal. Everything else, including any game that pays out in cash, is illegal."

Multiple electronic gaming machine manufacturers have earned restraining orders against Dann's rule, claiming it will put them out of business before the dispute has a final outcome.

The report says Dann immediately appealed the decision.

"Marc Dann thought he was turning a corner and instead he hit a brick wall," Ohio Skill Games attorney Eric Yavitch said in the report.

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