Florida passes legislation to help prevent another ‘Allied Veterans of the Florida’ illegal gambling disaster

Casino Watch Focus reported on the ongoing issues of Florida’s internet café’s, the most notable being the scandal involving the Allied Veterans of Florida group.  Essentially they claimed to be a charity organization but turned out to be a front for illegal gambling.  The Florida legislature quickly passed legislation to ban such café’s, but there are still a lot of issues that need to be addressed, and new legislation that has passed both chambers looks to continue those efforts.  The Wall Street Journal explains:

The Florida legislature passed a bill Thursday to expand oversight of charities and telemarketers soliciting donations in the state, a little more than a year after a scandal with a veterans’ charity forced the lieutenant governor to resign. The state House and Senate, both controlled by the GOP, overwhelmingly supported the measure.

The legislation would require nonprofits collecting more than $1 million of contributions annually to send audited financial reports or forms they already submit to the Internal Revenue Service to the state as well. It is “a step in the right direction for keeping bad characters out of the state of Florida,” State Sen. Jeff Brandes, (R-St. Petersburg), a bill sponsor, said in an interview.

The state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which oversees charities, would set up a website where each charity’s financial information would be posted.

Charity telemarketers who collect personal information would have to submit fingerprints for FBI and state background checks. Telemarketing company employees also would have to be screened for felony convictions.

The legislation was proposed after a scandal in which 57 people, almost all in Florida, were arrested in March 2013 on charges their charity, Allied Veterans of the World Inc., was a front for illegal gambling.

 

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