Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is researching the legality of Internet cafes and sweepstakes parlors in the state, a spokeswoman said Friday.
Communities throughout Ohio have complained for several years about the controversial businesses where people go and play games to try to win cash. Some governments, including Summit County, have started to regulate and license them.
DeWine spokeswoman Lisa Hackley said he plans to issue ''guidance'' for communities, as opposed to a formal opinion. That guidance will include ''what is and isn't legal and who regulates it,'' she said.
There's no timetable for releasing the information, Hackley said.
DeWine, who was elected last fall, decided to look into the issue because he received complaints during last year's campaign and continues to receive questions about the businesses as he visits communities, Hackley said.
Summit County passed a law last year to start regulating the businesses in townships and, after a legal fight, began issuing licenses this month. Eleven businesses in Springfield and Coventry townships have received licenses.
County Councilwoman Paula Prentice, who pushed for the law, said she welcomed the attorney general's effort. She said she hopes the examination would provide some resolution to questions surrounding the legality of the businesses.
Attorneys representing some of the local businesses could not be reached for comment.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or email@example.com.