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Veterans worried about losing video gaming

 
Veterans worried about losing video gaming
Posted Wednesday, October 16th 2013 @ 2pm  by WTVN Newsroom

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Veterans groups from around Ohio rallied at the Statehouse to save video gaming in their facilities.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has threatened to shut down the "video raffle game" machines, which are similar to those found in internet cafes, unless lawmakers clarify in state law that they are allowed. He has already extended a deadline once.

Bill Seagraves, executive director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Ohio Charities, says unlike internet cafes they gamble for charity.

"Since October 26, 2011 we have generated $5.4 million for charity," he said.

Charitable gaming has been legal in Ohio since 1974 when lawmakers okayed bingo. In 2003, charitable groups were given the green light to sell instant gaming tickets.

"Now we're asking for an up-to-date, more modern version of gaming and that's electronic. That's where everybody is going," Seagraves said.

Groups like the AMVETS, VFW, American Legion and fraternal organizations like the Moose, Elks, and Eagles say without the authorization many of their facilities will have to be closed.

Seagraves says DeWine has called their machines a "gray area" and has worked with them to craft a clarification bill. He says Sen. Frank LaRose, a Copley Republican, has agreed to carry the bill.

After a brief rally at the Statehouse, veterans split up and went door to door urging lawmakers and Gov. John Kasich to support their bill.

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