Gambling should be legalized, regulated and taxed, a majority of Ohioans agreed during the past several years. New casinos and plans for slot machines at racetracks are the product of that consensus - though it needs to be stressed many in the Buckeye State have concerns about the change.
Yet there are far more unregulated, potentially illegal gambling establishments than legitimate ones in the state.
"Internet cafes" in which various strategies are used to avoid the appearance of outright illegal gambling have proliferated. Such businesses sell patrons "time" on machines, including some with poker games. Those who win can cash in.
It had been thought there were fewer than 300 Internet cafes - not to be confused with perfectly legitimate businesses that merely offer access to the World Wide Web - in Ohio. But a recent investigation through Attorney General Mike DeWine's office revealed there may be as many as 772 "cafe" gambling spots.
For a number of reasons, the General Assembly should enact regulations - and taxes - on the businesses. If the decision has been made to regulate and tax some gambling establishments, such as casinos and racetracks, all businesses where betting is allowed - by whatever method - should be included.
Again, many Ohioans disagree strongly with legalized gambling. They have good reasons for their objections. But the line has been crossed, and all betting operations should be on the same side of it.