Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann recently targeted "illegal gaming machines in Ohio," which they liken to cash-paying slot machines and which have a "devastating" effect on Ohioans. At issue are gaming machines portrayed as skill-based games of chance often found at amusement parks, restaurants, and county fairs, which award non-cash prizes, such as toys or stuffed animals. Slot-machine gambling devices which pay cash prizes are illegal in Ohio. On August 23, 2007 the Governor and Attorney General took action to include games that provide non-cash prizes in the definition of illegal slot-machine gambling devices.
Governor Strickland, by Executive Order Implementing Rule Defining Skill-Based Amusement Machines and Unfair and Deceptive Practices in Consumer Transactions, and emergency administrative rules 109:4-3-31 Ohio Administrative Code from Attorney General Dann, declare that any gaming machine in Ohio offering cash prizes or claims for cash are illegal. In addition, games that provide non-cash prizes or merchandise valued at over $10.00 are also illegal. The new emergency administrative rules are effective for 90 days.
Attorney General Dann also sent 700 cease and desist letters to operators of the devices throughout Ohio. The letters provide three days for the operator to eliminate the devices or face prosecution under the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act.