Internet Cafes to be Banned in Florida

Internet Cafes to be Banned in FloridaIn several states so called ‘internet cafes’ have put severe pressure on charity bingo games. In Florida the business created quite a scandal after the Lieutenant Governor was forced to resign because of her connection with internet cafe operations and missing millions. Florida Governor Rick Scott is expected to sign a bill this week banning the cafes, effectively putting them out of business. The law will have an impact on several veterans’ organizations where the gaming machines help to finance veteran’s programs including one that helps ill veterans to get rides to doctor’s appointments.

Wilson Glass, a 71 year old veteran and a member of the Disabled American Veterans chapter in Holly Hill, told reporters “This is not a storefront cafe. A private club like this should be left alone if it’s a legitimate thing. It’s not all about gambling here. I might win or lose a little money. But even if I lose, it helps vets.”  Glass seems resigned to the fate of the arcade at the veteran’s hall and said “I think the governor will sign the bill, if only because of the pressure put on him.” Scott spokesman, John Tupps, said the Governor will sign the bill by April 12th.

The Florida legislature acted swiftly after an investigation into the Allied Veterans of the World revealed a $290 million illegal gambling business where proceeds that were supposed to be used for veteran’s causes ended up in the owner’s pockets. Law enforcement officials arrested 60 people connected with the operation and closed internet cafes throughout the state. Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll who served as a consultant to the bogus charity while a member of the Legislature was forced to resign in March.

State Senator John Thrasher said that after Scott signs the bill businesses and veteran’s organizations with gaming machines must discontinue their use. Thrasher told reporters “This bill is about machines. If they have machines that look and are programmed like slot machines they have to get rid of them. They must act and look like slot machines to be illegal. . . . The intent is to stop illegal gambling.” Thrasher said that local sheriffs and state attorneys will be in charge of enforcing the new law.

Internet cafes had operated because of a loophole in Florida law that allows corporations like Coke or McDonalds to offer sweepstakes to customers. The internet cafes sold computer time and offered sweepstakes using slot machine like video games. Trey Turner, general manager of the Sands Internet Cafe told reporters “We’ll shut the doors and our software will automatically be shut off. We don’t want to break any laws. We don’t want to do anything illegal. We’ll comply with the law.” Ohio is considering similar laws after several charities complained that internet cafes were siphoning off money that would usually be generated by charity bingo and casino games.

Online Bingo Reviews

Subscribe for Newsletter

We respect your email privacy
Read our privacy policy
Protected by Copyscape Original Content Checker
Visit Us On Twitter