Reporting Sandra McNeill
WARREN (WWJ) – State Attorney General Bill Schuette has sent out letters to nine more Internet Sweepstakes cafes, ordering them to close their doors.
Schuette says the cafes, which charge for Internet access so patrons can play casino-style games on the computer, violate the state’s gaming laws.
Rick Koppman frequents the Players Club Internet Cafe in Warren.
“We sit and have coffee and talk to each other … who’s harmed?,” asked Koppman.
Koppman says he’s retired and the cafes are cheaper than going to the casino – he thinks the Attorney General should leave the cafes alone.
“It’s a place to kill time, my girlfriend and I come in here for an hour, hour and a half and then we’re gone. We know all the people that go in here — it ain’t hurting nothing,” he said.
Lois Mead says things really get busy there at night; she puts down money for internet time then plays games on-line.
“It runs by machine, you put so much money down then you have chances on winning in different games in different amounts, and they have pizza and stuff like that for the players on Friday and Saturday,” said Mead.
She said her son has won a TV … and “that’s what got us started,” laughed Mead.
“If you put $25 down they give you an extra $5 and a lot of times you win, I’ve won $100 couple of times – so it’s not bad,” Mead said.
There is a busy Bingo hall next door and Mead sees nothing wrong with the cafe; “Buying lottery tickets – all that’s gambling, so I can’t see what’s right with one and not the other,” she said.
The Players Club was still open for business Tuesday, but declined comment.