Casino Watch Focus reported that a major gambling investigation in Florida concluded with almost 60 arrests. At issue were Internet Café, which have been operated all over the state. Charges ranged from illegal gambling to racketeering. Last year the Florida House attempted a bill banning Internet Cafes, but the legislation stalled in Senate after passing in the House. Now a local news agency is reporting that in the wake of the aftermath, the bill has passed the house and is expected to become law soon:
The Florida House has passed its version of a measure that bans Internet cafes, 108 – 7. A Senate vote is expected before the end of the month.
The ban on the gambling establishments is similar to a bill from a year ago that was not considered by the Florida Senate. This year is different in the wake of arrests and the resignation of Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll.
Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, predicts the bill will be sent to Gov. Rick Scott before the session ends in early May. If the ban becomes law, it would make it clear the slot machine-style games offered by the cafes are a form of illegal gambling, and not the legal sweepstakes games the cafes claim they are.
“Members, I don’t need a study. I don’t need to wait two years to know what I think about this. It’s predatory, it’s hurting our communities,” said Rep. Jason Brodeur, (R) Sanford.
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