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Ohio House Votes to Ban Gaming Machines

Bars and storefront parlors will not be allowed to hand out cash prizes for gambling machines or other games under a bill that has cleared the Ohio House with surprising ease.

The legislation drew just seven "no" votes in the 99-member House. Many in the House support expanded gambling, but Speaker Jon Husted says lawmakers feel that multiplying the number of tabletop gambling machines is not the way to do it.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where President Bill Harris is expected to put it on a fast track. It then would become law upon Governor Strickland's signature.

Under the bill, operators who make cash payouts could face six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for a first offense and one year in prison for a second offense.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)