Senate Passes Gambling Changes

Changes to a House-approved bill include a one-year moratorium on new sweepstakes devices, longer operating hours for bingo parlors, and a provision allowing previously illegal games of chance at festivals.(Photo: Flickr)
Changes to a House-approved bill include a one-year moratorium on new sweepstakes devices, longer operating hours for bingo parlors, and a provision allowing previously illegal games of chance at festivals.(Photo: Flickr)

A wide-ranging bill to bring order to Ohio’s gambling laws has cleared the state Senate.

The measure passed on a 29-3 vote on Wednesday. It makes dozens of changes to laws involving Ohio’s four new casinos, video lottery terminals, horse racing and other forms of gambling.

The vote comes a day after a Senate panel stripped a provision that would have expanded charity card rooms from one Ohio county to all 88 counties. Senators also added a one-year moratorium on new Internet “sweepstakes” cafes in the state.

Other items include longer operating hours for bingo parlors and a requirement that the state complete a study on gambling addiction problems.

The Ohio House planned Wednesday to reject the Senate changes to the bill, which would send it to a negotiating committee.

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