More Cleveland-area Internet sweepstakes cafes in court fight to reopen

CLEVELAND - At least nine more Internet sweepstakes cafes in the Cleveland area will be allowed to reopen after winning a preliminary court fight.

A judge ruled that the businesses are not involved in illegal gambling.

The businesses offer games that function like slot machines with cash prizes. The Cuyahoga County prosecutor calls them illegal gambling operations.

Four sweepstakes stores were allowed to reopen last week. None of the re-opening cafes use a gaming software system at the center of the court fight.

The businesses say they sell legitimate products such as phone cards or Internet time with a chance to win a prize.

Prosecutor Bill Mason tells The Plain Dealer the judge's order allows the businesses to operate unlawfully.

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