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Attorney General in Ohio Addresses Skill Games

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With the issue of skill games heating up across the state, including Muskingum County, and several businesses being raided by law enforcement confiscating slot machines, Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro issued his guidelines for the games on Wednesday evening.

It reads: Attorney General Jim Petro reminds citizens and local law enforcement officials that operators and players of so-called "skill-based amusement machines," or "skill games," may be breaking the law if the machines are in fact gambling devices like slot machines, which are prohibited under the Ohio Revised Code as "schemes of chance."

A scheme of chance is defined in Ohio law as "a slot machines... in which a participant gives a valuable consideration for the chance to win a prize, but does not include... a skill-based amusement machines..."

Operating a gambling device is also against state rules for liquor permit holders. Petro's office helped the Ohio Department of Public Safety win a state Liquor Control Commission ruling in April 2006 that "Tic Tac Fruit" amusement machines operated by a Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge in Pomeroy were in fact electronic video gambling devices.

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