Florida Judge Denies Injunction Sought to Stop Enforcement of Internet Café Ban

Casino Watch Focus has reported on the ongoing efforts to end illegal Internet Cafes in Florida.  Gov. Rick Scott signed into law legislation passed by the Florida House and Senate that officially put an end to illegal Internet Cafes.  Shortly thereafter, a group filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction against the ban.  Now The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that the injunction sought has been denied:

A federal judge refused Tuesday to block enforcement of Florida’s new video gambling law, rejecting arguments by the owners of two Broward senior arcades that the measure is unconstitutionally vague and violates the First Amendment rights of their elderly customers.

“The phrase ‘casino-style games’ has a common or ordinary meaning that is known to the general population,” Cohn wrote in his decision, noting that the arcades themselves use the phrase ’’casino-style gaming” in some of their advertising.

He also dismissed the argument that, if the law forced the arcades to close, it violated a First Amendment “right of association” of customers to mingle together while playing the games. “If senior citizens desire to associate and play ‘casino-style games,’ they may still meet at local casinos to do so,” Cohn wrote.

The lawsuit seeking to invalidate the legislation for being “unconstitutionally vague” is still moving forward and will likely take several months to be fully tried.  The injunction to lift the ban and allow these gambling facilities to operate, however, has been denied, thus allowing current enforcement keeping these gambling dens closed.

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