National AP News | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Sheriff's Department Shuts Down Two Businesses a Second Time

By: Bryan Anderson Email
By: Bryan Anderson Email

MARIANNA, FL 2/9/2012 -- The Big Dawg and Kindel Lanes Bowling Alley's internet cafes in Marianna remained closed Wednesday.

"We seized computers, documentation records," said Jackson County Sheriff Lou Roberts.

Roberts said he and his deputies busted the two businesses for a second time Tuesday.

"What were the owners reactions when they saw you guys show up yesterday?," asked WCTV's Bryan Anderson.

"I think it was deja vu all over again, they're here again," said Roberts.

This comes as lawmakers continue to battle it out in Tallahassee over the legality of these businesses. The House is pushing a bill that would ban them outright, while the Senate calls instead for regulation.

But there's not been a final decision yet, and some fear legislators are farther from making one than when they first started.

"There are so many clouded issues as to which way it could go," said Roberts.

Despite the ongoing debate, Roberts and many other authorities around the state say they hope for a clear-cut answer sometime soon. Roberts said until then he'll continue to go off the opinions of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Jackson County's grand jury.

"Our stance is still that it doesn't pass the standard in the gambling statutes in Florida," said Roberts.

There's still an ongoing lawsuit between Specialized Games L.L.C., which ran Kindel Lanes' cafe, and Sheriff Roberts and the State. It's not clear how Tuesday's shut down could affect the case.


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