Guest Article: Florida Internet Cafes lead to violence and need to be banned

Casino Watch Focus has reported on several actions being lead by the group  Now they have issued a release regarding the legally controversial Internet Cafes that have been affecting Florida families:


Friday, May 25, 2012


CONTACT: John Sowinski

(407) 608-5930

Violence at Internet Café is Out of Hand: Brutal Crime is Another Reason Leaders Should Enact Ban

(Deltona) – Media accounts detailing a brutal bludgeoning-by-hammer at a Deltona “internet café” should be a wake-up call for city and state leaders to shut these seedy establishments down.  Separate news accounts reveal that the video surveillance system at EZ Play Internet cafe in Deltona turned off just before a man was severely beaten inside the business. Two EZ Play managers were arrested on charges including aggravated battery causing bodily harm/disability with a deadly weapon.

New so-called “internet cafés” which skirt state gambling laws by describing their activity as “sweepstakes” rather than “gambling” are banned in Deltona but those like EZ Play that were open prior to the ban are still allowed to operate. Meanwhile, according to one media account, there have been 30 calls over the past year for law enforcement services related to EZ Play alone.

“Anybody who doubts the connection between gambling and crime needs to do nothing more than read these chilling news stories to learn that gambling causes crime”, said John Sowinski President of No Casinos.  “It is time for Deltona, other communities and the Florida Legislature to shutter the doors of these legally dubious enterprises – it is clear that Deltona taxpayers are having to subsidize the cost of law enforcement, addiction and serious injuries that are caused by this industry.”

In March the Deltona City Commission expressed concerns the sweepstakes businesses are problematic and “could lead to illegal activities.”  So, The City Commission voted unanimously to extend a six-month moratorium against the establishment of new Internet cafes. They are considering an ordinance that would include an out-and-out ban of new Internet cafes but needed more time to tweak the language.

“Now is the time for Deltona and the entire state of Florida to stop allowing those who skirt the law to profit from their brazenness and the crime and addiction that these establishments cause,” said Sowinski.

The Florida House of Representatives passed a bill to shut down internet cafés during this year’s Legislative Session, but that bill was thwarted by gambling supporters in the Florida Senate.

See recent news coverage of this story:

WFTV: Two arrested in connection with bloody Deltona strip mall casino beating

Daytona Beach News-Journal: 2 managers at Deltona Internet cafe charged with beating man


For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION



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