FDLE Provides Guidance Regarding New Internet Café Laws

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Press Release: FDLE
April 12, 2013

Yesterday afternoon FDLE distributed this handout and poster regarding Internet Cafés to the Florida Sheriffs Association, Florida Police Chiefs Association, the Association of Florida Police Attorneys and Florida State Attorney’s Offices.[SEE ATTACHED]

These documents can be distributed to the Internet Cafés and similar businesses to notify owners, operators, employees, and patrons that these activities are in violation of Florida law, and could result in prosecution.

By: Garin Flowers

Today the governor signed a bill into law banning internet cafes/gaming centers in Florida; that's up to 1,000 stores across the state.

It was a quick action taken against the gaming centers that were surrounded by controversy.

As quickly as the Governor made the call to ban the cafes, the Top Dawg Internet Cafe in Tallahassee closed their doors.

Many customers could be spotted for hours trying and failing to enter the internet cafe on N. Monroe Street, just as should be the case across the rest of the state.

The cafes allowed customers to play sweepstakes games in the form of slot machines.

The law takes affect immediately and it's up to local law enforcement to make sure that happens. Last week state legislators overwhelmingly passed the law.

Associated Press Release

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Gaming centers also known as "Internet cafes" are now illegal in Florida.

Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Wednesday that bans up to 1,000 storefront operations across the state.

The new law took effect immediately after Scott signed the bill. Scott said in a statement that lawmakers "did the right thing to crack down on illegal gaming operators."

Enforcement of the new law is up to local law-enforcement.

Legislators voted overwhelmingly last week to approve the ban. It was a quick response to a recent scandal that led to dozens of arrests and the lieutenant governor's resignation.

The storefront operations targeted by the bill currently allow customers to play sweepstakes games that simulate slot machines. Critics contend the new law will also lead to the closure of senior arcades.

Press Release: Office of Governor Scott

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott made the following statement regarding the signing of HB155, the Internet Café Ban Bill:

“The Legislature did the right thing to crack down on illegal gaming operators. We look forward to turning our focus back on jobs and education in this session. We have two key priorities – a $2,500 teacher pay raise and the elimination of the sales tax on manufacturing equipment. These two priorities are a part of our agenda to keep our economy growing and creating jobs and a highly trained workforce. We have heard lots of talk in support of these priorities. Now is the time for action.”

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