Ohio Internet cafe backers testify at Statehouse


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio Internet cafe owners and employees are fighting legislation they say would effectively put the operations out of business.

Supporters packed a Statehouse hearing room Tuesday to register opposition to a proposal to impose new regulations on more than 820 storefront sweepstakes operations doing business in Ohio. Some wore matching T-shirts reading "Save My Job."

A newspaper investigation found most Internet cafes filed incomplete state paperwork and most operators who can be identified have spotty financial backgrounds or criminal histories.

Marvin L. Carrel (KAYR'-uhl) Jr., a cafe manager from Ashville, got emotional when asking lawmakers not to punish him and his employees for a few bad actors in the business. Ralph Rosenberger, the operator of three cafes near Cleveland, said his stores are safe and lawful.

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