Internet Cafes Come Under Scrutiny

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Tallahassee, FL -- January 19. 2012 --

Internet cafes could be the latest issue dividing the Florida state legislature.

The state estimates about 1,400 Internet cafes are up and running across Florida. Critics say the cafes are notorious for computerized slot machines that are aimed at low-income people.

Governor Rick Scott and many residents want them banned.

"It's not good for old people to spend all their money and young people then have nothing to eat on," Tallahassee resident Ellie Clemons said.

Earlier this week a House panel passed a bill that would ban internet cafes. This leaves gamblers like Lewis Brown uncertain about the future.

"I feel they're doing them wrong by closing them down," Brown said. "I gamble. I gamble everyday pretty much. It's something I like to do."

On Thursday, a Senate committee passed a bill by a vote of 8-1 to place regulations on Internet cafes, not to shut them down. If the cafes are banned, Brown and other gamblers might have to find other places to gamble.

"It's bad for the one who owns the business that they want to shut it down for some odd reason."

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