Stop the illusions on Internet gambling


I have a comment on Internet cafes and whether these are gambling sites or sweepstakes like McDonald’s offers.

Here’s a question for the Internet cafe promoter or customer: If no games of chance for money (i.e. gambling) were offered via an Internet or gambling server hook-up, would you still open up or come inside to log on? No, because the goal, purpose or end of opening an Internet cafe is to make a profit from offering games of chance for money.

I am not casting stones but I’m just saying let’s quit the illusions. Gambling, in different forms, has been around for thousands of years. Internet cafes are simply a new form. If we are going to regulate or prohibit, let’s call it what it is.

The comparison to McDonald’s is way off because McDonald’s, by definition a food establishment, offers sweepstakes as a way to bring in customers to buy their food products. Even if you lose the McDonald’s sweepstakes, you walk out with a full belly.

Odds are when you walk out of an Internet cafe you leave with an empty wallet. Which means less money to spend at our true local businesses where they sell real products and services.

I say if the Ohio General Assembly can’t figure which way to go, then put this issue of prohibition or regulation of Internet cafes to a statewide vote as was done with casinos. In the meantime, Howland Township, in the interests of our families and businesses, has prohibited this new form of gambling.

James T. Saker

Howland Township Trustee