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FREMONT – Authorities raided the city's only Internet cafe Thursday and are investigating it in connection with allegations of illegal gambling, an Ohio Attorney General's Office spokesman said.

Fremont police and the Ohio Attorney General's Office took machines used for skill games or sweepstakes from Talk N Win on South Fifth Street, said attorney general's spokesman Dan Tierney. No one has been charged.

"The investigation is ongoing, so it would be inappropriate to speculate on whether charges would be filed," Tierney said.

The attorney general's office and law enforcement agencies raided four other Talk N Win locations in Northwest Ohio and another Internet cafe in Oregon. Authorities had received reports that the businesses were giving cash payouts for skill games and sweepstakes in violation of Ohio law, Tierney said.

A makeshift "closed" sign was taped to the door of Talk N Win. Inside, the tables that once held computers were empty, and employees Bobby Boyd and Samantha Minich said they didn't know how the business could stay open after the raid.

"You think about your families and what they're going to do," said Boyd, who worked security for the business. "I wonder how they sleep knowing they took away somebody's Christmas and their livelihood. It's a hurt feeling.

"I wonder what I'm going to tell my grandkids."

Talk N Win used to be Player's Club and is owned by Marvin Dabish, who could not be reached. In August, Dabish told Fremont City Council he had 100 machines at Talk N Win.

Players Club and other Internet cafes in the city -- which no longer exist -- were raided in 2012 in connection with allegations of illegal gambling. In October 2013, a state law limiting winnings to prizes worth $10 took effect and caused most cafes to shut down.

The law made investigations like the ones being conducted easier, Tierney said.

"If they were paying out cash on a computer terminal, it was a prohibited action," he said.

Tierney declined to discuss how the attorney general's office became aware of the allegations against Talk N Win. In general, the attorney general's office works with law enforcement on investigations like this, he said.

Fremont police officials declined to comment.

Boyd said Talk N Win upgraded its computers to comply with Ohio law, and he said he did not understand why the businesses was raided. He and Minich said the business supported others in the area by ordering food for employees and customers.

Talk N Win had planned to be open Christmas night for customers to get together, they said.

"I totally feel like our stores are targeted," Boyd said. "This is where all the elderly people come. Everyone can't afford to go to the casinos."

mksmith@gannett.com

419-334-1044

Twitter: @kristinasmithNM

Article source: http://www.thenews-messenger.com/story/news/local/2014/12/18/state-local-authorities-raid-fremont-business/20589797/

New high-speed Internet cafes in Raqqa, Syria, the Islamic State group's stronghold, have been appearing lately, especially since March, when reliable wireless connections disappeared because of the regime's disruption of radio networks. Since then, people in the city, many of whom have lost their jobs after the Sunni militants took over the city, have started their own Internet cafes to make money. But now, the radical militants have started a new campaign to stop residents from using the Internet, forcing cafe owners to close their shops.

Wireless connection has been down in Raqqa since March, and residents have to resort to satellite connections to communicate with the outside world. The problem isn't just that this requires a computer hooked up to a satellite Internet connection, rather than a handheld device. It's also easily detectable not only by the Syrian regime, but by the ISIS leadership in Raqqa. 

According to a press statement published Tuesday by the activist group Raqqa is Being Silently Slaughtered, the group also known as ISIS or ISIL is threatening Internet users and warning them not to publish anything against the group online. ISIS has even set up surveillance cameras around the city in order to track people entering Internet cafes. 

Since it took over large swaths of land in Syria and Iraq in June, ISIS has fielded its own public relations team to disseminate information. The group often publishes polished online magazines, promoting its philosophy and strategies. It also has made several videos in an attempt to recruit militants to fight for them.

Until now, the creation of homemade Internet cafes had offered many residents in Raqqa a stable source of income. According to the statement, an example is that of one man in Raqqa who owns an Internet cafe and charges computer users by the hour. He relies on external transmitters to provide high-speed Internet service. He sells subscriptions to neighbors in Raqqa who want to access the Internet on a regular basis. The amount of megabytes offered in subscriptions differs from cafe to cafe.

Another man in Raqqa owns an Internet cafe with a total of 12 computers. His cafe is one of the most popular because it is located in the center of the city and offers the most reliable Internet. Raqqa experiences several hours of power outages a day, but this cafe has a backup generator that allows residents to use the Internet even when the electricity is out. Other cafes are not able to run their generators because the price of gasoline in the ISIS "caliphate" continues to increase.

ISIS often conducts raids and inspections of the cafes, also by hacking into the computers and investigating users' social networking profiles. In recent weeks the group has begun to arrest people for their statements online. The crackdown has forced several Internet cafes to shut down as the number of customers has significantly decreased.

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently is still operating, it says, because it relies on Internet users located outside the stronghold. Other activists in the city, however, are now more limited than ever and have no way of communicating with anyone outside the city.

AMD hosted i-Cafe Conference in China on December 10, forming partnerships with hardware companies such as Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry), Asustek Computer, Micro-Star International (MSI) and Sapphire, as well as China's Internet cafe players to expand into China's Internet cafe market.

With the China government having lifted several restrictions over Internet cafe operation, AMD expects the market's business opportunities to start growing rapidly.

The conference was attended by around 200 representatives from Internet cafes, software and hardware firms, as well as game designers. During the conference, AMD unveiled its latest technology and graphics card drivers such as the Catalyst Omega special edition specifically optimized for Internet cafe PCs and a Windows XP-compatible unified graphics card driver to help Internet cafe players save time on system adjustments and testing as well as reduce costs.

AMD and Foxconn also announced a jointly developed Internet cafe PC using AMD's eight-core FX8300 processor and R9 270/R7 260X graphics card.

AMD is also cooperating with an automatic driver upgrade software designer to assist related players to upgrade their PC's drivers automatically.

Currently, China's Internet cafe market has about 12 million PCs and the market has replacement demand for about four million units each year. In 2013, the market generated an overall income of CNY52 billion and attracted 119 million users.

AMD i-Cafe Conference in Beijing, China
Photo: Monica Chen, Digitimes, December 2014

Article source: http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20141211PD203.html

The Fullerton Police Department building. Courtesy of the department
The Fullerton Police Department building. Courtesy of the department

Two gunmen robbed an internet cafe in Fullerton, police said Monday.

The robbery occurred at 1821 West Commonwealth Blvd. at 9:54 p.m. Sunday, said Fullerton police Sgt. Jeff Stuart. Two men entered the establishment and approached the manager, he said.

“They flashed handguns and demanded cash. They were last seen fleeing the location in an unknown direction. They got an unknown amount of cash,” Stuart said.

There were no injuries in the robbery, he said. The cafe was open at the time of the incident but Stuart did not know how many patrons were inside.

The site of the robbery was the Rose PC Internet Cafe, a news videographer reported from the scene.

—City News Service

Article source: http://mynewsla.com/orange-county/2014/12/08/men-rob-internet-cafe-flash-handguns-demand-cash/

An armed gunman walked into the South Main Internet cafe Thursday night and demanded money from an employee, but ran out without his gun.

Salisbury Police say the incident occurred just before 10 p.m. at 917 S. Main St. in a tiny sweepstakes cafe just on the other side of Rick’s Barbecue and Grill. There were customers in the store when the man entered. He is described as a black male, wearing a bandanna across his face with jeans and a dark coat.

He ordered everyone to get on the ground and went straight to the counter. He pointed the gun at the employee and demanded she give him the money.

Police Capt. Shelia Lingle said the employee was nervous and dropped the money on the floor. She picked it up as he walked around and made everyone get on the floor.

He didn’t have a bag and began grabbing for the money. He dropped the money, placed the gun on the counter and bent down to pick it up. The employee picked up the gun and fired it, missing the robber as he ran out of the store. He was able to take $715 from the business. He left behind his gun, a Rossi .38 Special.

This comes on the heels of a letter Police Chief Rory Collins delivered this week to Internet Sweepstakes cafes. In the letter Collins explains the business is in violation of the N.C. General Statute making it a criminal offense to have an electronic machine or device for the purpose of sweepstakes.

He goes on to write on or after Jan. 1 the police department will enforce the law on anyone involved in activity that goes against the statute. He’s allowing them a “grace period” in order to make provisions to cease. If the businesses remain open, Collins said it could result in confiscating the equipment.

“This is the only notice you will receive from my office prior to our taking enforcement action under G.S. 14-306.4,” the letter ended.

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An armed gunman walked into the South Main Internet cafe Thursday night and demanded money from an employee, but ran out without his gun.

Salisbury Police say the incident occurred just before 10 p.m. at 917 S. Main St. in a tiny sweepstakes cafe just on the other side of Rick’s Barbecue and Grill. There were customers in the store when the man entered. He is described as a black male, wearing a bandanna across his face with jeans and a dark coat.

He ordered everyone to get on the ground and went straight to the counter. He pointed the gun at the employee and demanded she give him the money.

Police Capt. Shelia Lingle said the employee was nervous and dropped the money on the floor. She picked it up as he walked around and made everyone get on the floor.

He didn’t have a bag and began grabbing for the money. He dropped the money, placed the gun on the counter and bent down to pick it up. The employee picked up the gun and fired it, missing the robber as he ran out of the store. He was able to take $715 from the business. He left behind his gun, a Rossi .38 Special.

This comes on the heels of a letter Police Chief Rory Collins delivered this week to Internet Sweepstakes cafes. In the letter Collins explains the business is in violation of the N.C. General Statute making it a criminal offense to have an electronic machine or device for the purpose of sweepstakes.

He goes on to write on or after Jan. 1 the police department will enforce the law on anyone involved in activity that goes against the statute. He’s allowing them a “grace period” in order to make provisions to cease. If the businesses remain open, Collins said it could result in confiscating the equipment.

“This is the only notice you will receive from my office prior to our taking enforcement action under G.S. 14-306.4,” the letter ended.

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FOUR CORNERS — As part of a month-long undercover investigation, the Lake County Sheriff's Office raided two Internet cafes Monday, seizing $14,000 in cash.

Detectives had received Crimeline tips about possible illegal gambling at Fun Time and Sweepstakes, two businesses about a quarter of a mile apart on U.S. Highway 27, Sgt. Jim Vachon said. The Sheriff's Office also seized 40 computers, 60 monitors and two televisions.

"At this time the two businesses do not appear to be owned by the same individual(s)," Vachon wrote in an email. "Our detectives will be following up with the State Attorney's Office regarding appropriate charges once the investigation has been fully completed."

No arrests have been made, Vachon said.

In recent years, Florida law officers have focused on Internet cafes, creating the Illegal Gaming Task Force this year to crack down on gambling locations in Seminole, Lake and Brevard counties.

In a separate FDLE investigation, the Illegal Gaming Task Force raided another location in Clermont called Sweepstakes on April 3 and Oct. 2, spokeswoman Samantha Andrews said. That business, on County Road 455, also went by the name Cyber Center/PD Inc. of Orange Park.

echerney@tribune.com or 352-742-5930

Copyright © 2014, Orlando Sentinel

Article source: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-lk-internet-cafe-raid-20141202-story.html

An armed gunman walked into the South Main Internet cafe Thursday night and demanded money from an employee, but ran out without his gun.

Salisbury Police say the incident occurred just before 10 p.m. at 917 S. Main St. in a tiny sweepstakes cafe just on the other side of Rick’s Barbecue and Grill. There were customers in the store when the man entered. He is described as a black male, wearing a bandanna across his face with jeans and a dark coat.

He ordered everyone to get on the ground and went straight to the counter. He pointed the gun at the employee and demanded she give him the money.

Police Capt. Shelia Lingle said the employee was nervous and dropped the money on the floor. She picked it up as he walked around and made everyone get on the floor.

He didn’t have a bag and began grabbing for the money. He dropped the money, placed the gun on the counter and bent down to pick it up. The employee picked up the gun and fired it, missing the robber as he ran out of the store. He was able to take $715 from the business. He left behind his gun, a Rossi .38 Special.

This comes on the heels of a letter Police Chief Rory Collins delivered this week to Internet Sweepstakes cafes. In the letter Collins explains the business is in violation of the N.C. General Statute making it a criminal offense to have an electronic machine or device for the purpose of sweepstakes.

He goes on to write on or after Jan. 1 the police department will enforce the law on anyone involved in activity that goes against the statute. He’s allowing them a “grace period” in order to make provisions to cease. If the businesses remain open, Collins said it could result in confiscating the equipment.

“This is the only notice you will receive from my office prior to our taking enforcement action under G.S. 14-306.4,” the letter ended.

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China Internet Rules

(Photo : Reuters / Nir Elias) A woman uses a computer in an internet cafe at the centre of Shanghai January 13, 2010.

With more Chinese consumers connecting to the Internet via smartphones or their personal computers every year, internet cafes in China are struggling to find success and must break the law just to be able to stay afloat, TechinAsia reports.

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Mr. Zhang, owner of Hainan Internet café, first opened his business ten years ago and says things have drastically changed for the worse. Zhang told a newspaper reporter that the only thing keeping these businesses from closing down is to allow kids in and play video games.

There were a total of over 10,000 Internet cafes that struggled to bring in revenue and needed to be shut down between 2011 and 2012 alone.

"These days business is bad for every internet cafe," Zhang said. "If you don't let kids in to play games, then basically you can't make any money at all."

However, by doing so, business owners run the risk of crossing paths with the government, as Chinese law prohibits any minors from being able to enter Internet cafes.

Owners are supposed to register the actual identity of each person that uses their services, but loopholes allow kids to use the Internet and play video games. One could easily get a hold of registered IDs downloaded from the Internet and could even use one ID for multiple computers.

The Chinese government is aware of what is going on and will reportedly be implementing new measures in efforts to keep kids out of Internet cafes. Under the new measures, no Internet café will be allowed within 200 meters of a school.   

Zhang claims he used to follow the law, but after seeing most of the other Internet cafes close down, he realized the only way he has a chance of staying in business is to continue allowing minors to use his services, even if it's during school hours.

"You can't offend the students who come frequently," Zhang reasoned. "They're connected to all of their classmates, so if you try to restrict one of them, a lot of other 'business' will disappear along with that one."

Article source: http://www.chinatopix.com/articles/24792/20141128/chinese-internet-cafes-must-break-the-law-to-stay-in-business.htm


china-internet-cafe

If you’re an internet cafe owner in China, you’ve probably had a rough couple of years. As more and more of China’s adults get connected via their smartphones and personal PCs, interest in internet cafes is down. Between 2011 and 2012, for example, 10,000 internet cafes in China shut down. And things haven’t improved since.

That’s what Hainan internet cafe owner Mr. Zhang told a newspaper reporter in a recent story about the difficulty of operating an internet cafe these days. Business is much worse than ten years ago when he first started, Zhang said. And what’s keeping him and many other Chinese internet cafes afloat is illegal. Said Zhang:

These days business is bad for every internet cafe. If you don’t let kids in to play games, then basically you can’t make any money at all.

That’s a controversial statement because legally speaking, internet cafes are not supposed to admit minors. They are required to register the real identity of everyone who goes online, but Zhang said there are plenty of ways around that. You can simply swipe the same ID card for multiple computers, for example, or download IDs from the internet and register them.

See: A disgusting fact about internet cafes in China (and probably everywhere else)

Zhang said that he used to follow the regulations himself, but his business started dying, and he was forced to follow the example of other local netcafes, turning a blind eye as kids came in – even during school hours – to surf the web and play games. He knows he’s probably hurting the educations of some children, he said, “but I do it for the sake of surviving; there’s nothing else I can do except [allow kids in].” And even when kids come in during school hours to play, he says he can’t chase them off:

You can’t offend the students who come frequently. They’re connected to all of their classmates, so if you try to restrict one of them, a lot of other ‘business’ will disappear along with that one.

But even as owners like Zhang break the law, China’s government continues to attempt to keep kids out of internet cafes via new regulations. The latest measures include a number of revised regulations and a brand new one: no internet cafes will be allowed within 200 meters of primary, middle, and high schools.

A quick peek at Google Maps revealed that this may lead to the shutdown of a couple of internet cafes, but probably won’t have much effect on whether or not kids can get to internet cafes. One elementary school in Harbin I checked, for example, had just a couple internet cafes within 200 meters but at least 11 within 500 meters, which is still just a couple minutes’ walk away:

schools-internet-cafes

More or less everyone agrees that the current situation isn’t great for kids, but a decade of regulation clearly hasn’t worked. In the end, it may be that China’s internet cafes will be outdone by a growing middle class that can afford smartphones for their kids and computers at home for gaming. But especially in less-developed areas, those days are still a long way off. For now, minors are likely to remain the top customers at China’s internet cafes, despite the fact that they’re not supposed to be there.

Article source: https://www.techinasia.com/chinas-internet-cafes-money-break-law/