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Report: Ohio Closes What Could Have Been Its Last Remaining Charity Poker Room

Willoughby Hills Operation Told By State It Was Illegal


A charity poker room east of downtown Cleveland has closed after a warning from the Ohio Attorney General’s office, The Plain Dealer reported.

The games in Willoughby Hills were electronic, so there were no live dealers. According to the state, these “Buckeye Charity Poker” games constitute illegal electronic equipment.

The room was just a year old.

A letter sent by the state also claimed that the room’s operator, Northeast Ohio Charity Services, failed to register its charitable gambling activities with the Attorney General’s office. The charity’s co-owner said he was unaware it had to do so.

According to The Plain Dealer, the Buckeye charity poker room might very well have been the last one remaining in the entire state. After legalization efforts, Ohio has four Las Vegas-style casinos. Cleveland has the Horseshoe, which has a sprawling WSOP-branded poker room.

The Ohio Attorney General’s office reportedly investigated Buckeye Charity Poker after complaints were received. The state is also looking to crack down on Internet betting cafes.

A total of 30 to 40 charities reportedly shared the $175,000 generated by Buckeye Charity Poker.

Supporters of the poker room are looking to see if they can eventually get the OK to reopen.

Ohio is one of the states in the region that undergone gambling expansion plans.

For more news from Ohio, check out its state page.