Illegal Gambling Machines Seized From Ohio Internet Café

Written By TJ McBride on March 15, 2024
Illegal Ohio Gambling Machines

An internet café in Dayton was raided on Wednesday by the Dayton Police and the Ohio Casino Control Commission. The raid ended with approximately 100 illegal gambling machines being seized.

The raid proved that there is still some work to do regarding public education on what is and what is not legal in the gambling space. This is especially true as the gambling options continue to evolve in the Buckeye State.

To help counter that issue, here are all of the legal ways to wager in the state.

No arrests made in seizure of illegal gambling machines

Three pillars now exist within the Ohio legal gambling marketplace: sports betting, casino gambling, and horse race betting. The existence of sports betting kiosks at bars and restaurants throughout the state is commonplace, leaving fellow Ohio businesses eager for their own share of the industry. Unfortunately, this often comes in the way of unlicensed bad actors trying to pass off their illegal products to unsuspecting customers.

Case in point: this illegal gambling hall that was raided.

At 10:30 am, the Lucky Day Internet Café – which sits at 1880 Needmore Road – was served a search warrant by investigators from the Dayton Police and the Ohio Casino Control Commission. Afterwards, there were a few scarce details shared by Dayton police Sgt. Jason Rhodes via the Dayton Daily News.

“We seized approximately 100 machines, give or take, and a decent amount of money. We don’t have the numbers finalized yet.”

There were two people in the internet café when the search warrant was served: one customer and one worker. Another patron showed up while the search warrant was being executed and was surprised by the situation according to WHIO News Center 7. The man interviewed asked to remain anonymous.

“It’s kind of a shock, really.”

No arrests were made, but that could come later after evidence is sorted and the investigation nears a conclusion. Detectives also plan to meet with the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office to discuss next steps. For now, Lucky Day Internet Café has been declared a nuisance. That label can be appealed by the owners. According to Dayton police, there are no other locations connected to this raid.

An unidentified officer told News Center 7 that for now the seizure of these machines and cash suspected to have been involved are the only steps being taken.

“We’ll collect the evidence, take all that. The main evidence that we’re taking is the machines.”

The fact that one player was inside this illegal establishment and another customer walked in while the raid was being executed speaks to a lack of understanding within the community. Which of these gambling offerings are illegal and which are legal?

To clear up any confusion, let us take a step back and outline the legal gambling that is available across Ohio.

Legal gambling options available in Ohio

There are three different ways to gamble in Ohio: casino gambling, race track betting, and sports betting. sports betting kiosks. Between all commercial gaming, the state has emerged as the sixth-biggest gaming revenue generator in the country despite not having legal Ohio online casinos.

The Ohio casino market has four establishments: Jack Cleveland, Hollywood Columbus, Hard Rock Cincinnati and Hollywood Toledo. Outside of those four casinos, no other place has the ability to offer table games.

The only other places outside of those four casinos that can have slot machines are the seven Ohio racinos, which also feature wagering on horse races. Those seven racinos are as follows:

MGM Northfield Park
Miami Valley Gaming
Scioto Downs
JACK Thistledown Racetrack
Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway
Hollywood Gaming Mahoning Valley Race Course
Belterra Park Cincinnati

Next comes Ohio sports wagering which is separated into two categories: sportsbook operators and sports betting kiosks.

There are 19 online sportsbook operators and another 15 brick and mortar sportsbooks. Among them are the typical giants in the sports betting space such as FanDuel, DraftKings, ESPN Bet, BetMGM and others. Here is a full list of Ohio sportsbooks for both retail and mobile settings.

Lastly are the 848 Ohio sports betting kiosks around the state that exist in bars, restaurants and other establishments including Kroger supermarkets. They differ greatly from typical sports betting in many ways including a $700 limit on bets each week. There are five different operators in the Ohio sports betting kiosk space, but one has removed all machines. That makes it effectively four operators: Sports Bet Ohio, UBet Ohio, BetSkybox and BetIGG.

If someone is considering doing any wagering outside of these options, it is not legal. There are no tribal casinos in the state and no other legal gambling alternatives.

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TJ McBride

T.J. McBride is a Denver-based writer and reporter who covers sports betting for PlayOhio. His work has been featured on ESPN, CBS Sports, FiveThirtyEight, Bleacher Report and Yahoo Sports, among others.

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