Marysville City Council's public affairs committee is poised to seek an extension on a moratorium on Internet sweepstakes cafes in the city. Council members Deborah Groat, J.R. Rausch and Henk Berbee have agreed to ask the city to continue the moratorium to Dec. 31.

Marysville City Council's public affairs committee is poised to seek an extension on a moratorium on Internet sweepstakes cafes in the city.
Council members Deborah Groat, J.R. Rausch and Henk Berbee have agreed to ask the city to continue the moratorium to Dec. 31.

Council on Dec. 15, 2011, enacted a six-month moratorium on allowing any more Internet sweepstakes and gaming parlor businesses in Marysville.

"I don't think we're going to come to a conclusion between now and mid-June, and I don't think we want to leave a door open," Groat said.

She said she has received three letters objecting to the businesses, but no one opposed has shown up at any of the committee's public meetings.

"I don't want negative comments after the fact from people who chose not to give their input," Groat said.

Two residents at the committee's April 24 meeting both said they were just trying to understand the situation and had not made a decision on whether they supported such businesses in Marysville.

The committee worked on a memorandum of understanding to begin shaping what city regulations might look like in regard to Internet sweepstakes and gaming parlors. It suggests limiting Internet sweepstakes and gaming parlors to Special District 1 and Traffic Oriented

Commercial areas of the city. It also includes a 500-foot buffer around the Historic Design Review District in Uptown Marysville.

Berbee presented a spreadsheet comparing proposals from Senate Bill 317, which was introduced in the Ohio Senate on March 28, and House Bill 195, introduced April 12. Both address regulating Internet sweepstakes and gaming parlors.

Marysville Law Director Tim Aslaner said based on his conversations with the Ohio Attorney General's office, it appears the state may have a solution in the fall.

"Whatever we enact now may have to be modified," he said.

The committee addressed several issues raised in H.B. 195 and S.B. 317 to compare to what the city might do on each topic of regulation.

Both bills address license cost. S.B. 317 is specific with a minimum of $100,000 not to exceed three years, an application fee of $25,000, plus a "reasonable" processing fee. H.B. 195 mentions only a reasonable processing fee.

The council committee agreed the cost of licensing should be passed on to the businesses in fees.

Both bills suggested a minimum age of 21 and no alcohol; the council committee agreed with both.

H.B. 195 suggests a limit on the number of licenses per county, something that also was discussed by the council committee.

S.B. 317 suggests Internet sweepstakes and gaming parlors businesses be prohibited within 1,000 feet of primary or secondary child day-care facilities. The committee also discussed a similar restriction.

Committee members said they would like to prohibit firearms from such establishments and will consider requiring a minimum number of parking spaces per terminal inside the establishment.

The next public affairs committee meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. May 21 in council chambers, 125 E. Fifth St.