Cities Attempt To Regulate Skill Games
March 26, 2007
Two articles recently published in the Akron Beacon Journal illustrate recent efforts by Ohio cities to regulate so-called "skill games" within their jurisdictions. The article states that officials in Akron, Franklinton, Kent and Norton are looking into the possibility of licensing and regulating the popular games, which cost money to play and reward successful players with jackpots ranging into the thousands of dollars. The businesses are currently regulated and taxed in at least two Ohio cities, with Northfield taking 5% of the revenues from its skill games parlors and Tallmadge imposing a $1,000 annual licensing fee and an assessment of $100 per month per machine. Kent hopes to adopt a law similar to that in Tallmadge. Meanwhile, other Ohio cities, including Norton and Franklinton are considering moratoria on the parlors while they evaluate their regulatory options and wait for consensus' as to the legality of the devices.
However, not everyone is pleased with the prospect of regulation. Ohio Arcade Owners Association president Jamie Minne says that the owners aren't opposed to regulation, but feels that regulations like those implemented in Tallmadge are designed to discourage the businesses. He suggests that cities implement fair taxation and implement licensing, criminal background checks and uniform operating guidelines.
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