Ohio's skill-game regulations go into effect April 23; meetings scheduled to explain rules

The Ohio Casino Control Commission is expected on April 23 to launch a new system to license and regulate games of skill such as claw machines that nab prizes or arcade games that issue tokens or tickets.

The system also will make it easier for local officials and law enforcement to determine whether a business is operating legally, the commission said.

The commission was given oversight of the games by state law in 2015 and has spent the past year developing rules and license fees for the games.

Unlike other states, Ohio's law requires that the opportunity to win a prize in amusement games must be based on the skill of the player rather than a chance event.

Prizes can be awarded, but the prizes cannot be cash, gift cards, plays on games of chance (such as slot machines), lottery tickets, bingo, firearms, tobacco or alcoholic beverages.

The wholesale value of merchandise awarded as a result of a single play cannot exceed $10, but it is permissible to combine tickets or tokens to collect a prize worth more than $10.

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