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Ohio AG's office to inspect electronic raffle machines

By Bryan Cohen | Dec 6, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) -- Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said Thursday his office will start inspections next week related to the operation of electronic raffle machines.

DeWine gave notice Oct. 16 to the organization representing groups operating electronic raffle machines that the machines were illegal under state law. The notice said the law would be enforced if operation of the machines did not stop.

DeWine said it was unlikely the law regarding the electronic raffle machines would change anytime soon.

"With the Ohio Senate today having adjourned until 2014, it is apparent the general assembly will not change the law regarding these machines any time soon," the attorney general said. "I have no choice now but to begin enforcing the Ohio Revised Code."

Under current Ohio law, electronic raffles meet the definition of slot machines and slot machines are not considered a legal form of charitable gaming.

The machines were operated by fraternal and veterans groups, with a portion of the proceeds generated by electronic raffles going to charity.

Starting Monday, DeWine's office will start inspecting organizations and locations believed to be operating the electronic raffle machines.

Organizations and individuals found in violation of the Ohio Revised Code could face civil action from the Attorney General's Office or be referred for criminal prosecution.

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