Internet Cafes Busted in Jackson County

By: Bryan Anderson Email
By: Bryan Anderson Email

Marianna- The Lucky Sweepstakes Room at Kindle Lanes Bowling Alley in Marianna sat empty on Monday. Last Friday, July 15th, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office and six other agencies shut it, and several other "Internet cafes" down, for allegedly offering illegal gambling.

Specialized Games, LLC.,which owns Lucky Sweepstakes, is currently suing the Jackson County Sheriff's Office and State Attorney Glenn Hess, trying to win a temporary injunction against closing the business.

"This is an issue that needs to be decided by some Florida court, and Jackson County looked like this was going to be the first place that we were going to have this determination," said Attorney Jim Lewis, who's representing Specialized Games, LLC.

Attorney Lewis was shocked when we told him about Friday's raids on Monday morning.

"I thought that we pretty much had an understanding that we were going to go to court there in Jackson County in civil court and let a judge decide as to whether or not these businesses were operating within the law or not," said Lewis.

Lewis said he plans to ask the circuit judge in charge of the case for a quick hearing date.

Experts said this case could wind up deciding the bigger statewide controversy over the legality of "Internet cafes."

"We really need some guidance from some court of jurisdiction as to whether or not these practices are within the bounds of Florida law or they're not," said Lewis.

We called Jackson County Sheriff Lou Roberts on Monday, July 18th, but he declined to comment on the lawsuit or Friday's raids until the investigation is complete.

Marianna City Commissioners are expected to discuss "Internet cafes" during a special meeting on July 27th.

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