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Local players react to making Internet cafés illegal

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Inside an Internet cafe. Inside an Internet cafe.
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

State legislators are considering shutting down Internet cafés and making them illegal. Those who work and play in the cafés are speaking out.

Café employees say they depend on their jobs, and those who play say the future of the cafés is like rolling the dice – you just don't know.

"They go gambling here and they lose all their money, and then they can't afford nothing," said Violette Carpenter.

Carpenter herself says she's been playing at the Player's Club Internet Café in east Toledo, trying to hit jackpots for four years. She says she's seen people come and hit rock bottom.

"I say they should close them," she said. "It would stop a lot of people from losing their money."

After much debate, and after the Ohio House passed a bill to make Internet cafés illegal, the Senate decided it was on board, too.

"I feel like they should keep them open," said Ronnie Russell, a café customer. "There's times when I came here and won money to pay my bills."

Russell says if the state is going to allow big casinos to do business, the cafés should stay, too.

"Only thing they should do is regulate them," he said. "Make sure the people are being treated fair with the games, make sure they ain't getting rigged or being cheated."

As for Carpenter, even though she goes to the casinos, she thinks all bets should be off on the cafés.

"Shut ‘em down, that's all I got to say," Carpenter said.

No café owner or representative could be reached for comment.

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