The City of Charleston is poised to step away from its moratorium on Internet cafes that resemble video poker arcades.

The key reason: the question over their status as games of fun or illegal gambling remains an unsettled state problem.

“To ban them outright places the burden on the city to defend the ban against the specialized interests of the industry,” the city’s legal office said in a letter to City Council.

The city would be best off regulating the cafes through zoning where they could be considered adult-oriented businesses and situated away from churches and schools, the staff advised.

“To do nothing would open the door for these establishments setting up shop in virtually any commercial area,” the letter states.