WUFT News

Internet cafe ban signed by Scott; businesses must close

By on April 12th, 2013

Internet cafes across the state must close their doors thanks to legislation signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott April 10.

The bill banning internet cafes moved quickly through the state Legislature in wake of the criminal investigation into Allied Veterans of the World, a gambling ring disguised as a non-profit organization benefiting U.S. veterans.

The investigation led to former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Caroll’s resignation due to her past consulting for the firm.

With the cafes’ required closing, regular customers like Susan Neidlinger are upset.

“I don’t think it’s fair that one bad apple takes away from all the other ones that are legitimate,” Neidlinger said.

Gov. Scott said internet cafes shouldn’t have been operating to begin with.

For some patrons, playing the games is more than a chance to win money.

“Us women will go out together for a couple hours a day,” Neidlinger said. “It’s just good entertainment for us. I’m not spending a lot of money.”

Supporters of the storefront gambling say it’s all about the entertainment value.

“My grandma, she loves it. She goes every day,” said Richard Morris, an internet cafe customer. ”I like it because there’s free snacks.”

Morris and Neidlinger can’t frequent internet cafes anymore; the ban takes effect immediately.

It affects hundreds of businesses statewide and means a loss of an estimated 3,000 jobs.

It is up to local law enforcement to see that all these businesses are shut down.

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and the Gainesville Police Department are having analysts look over the new law. Spot-checks will come soon.

Emily Stanton edited this story online.


This entry was posted in Florida and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Florida

Cody Eugene Wygant, 24, was arrested Thursday after he confessed to suffocating his infant son. Wygant said the child's crying was distracting him from playing Xbox.

Homosassa Man Kills Infant Son Over Xbox, Police Say

Cody Eugene Wygant has confessed to suffocating the 16-month-old, whose crying was distracting him from playing.


Jeff Groves, the owner of Williston Blueberry Farm, gives samples of his pesticide-free blueberries to customers at the Union Street Farmers Market on Wednesday in Downtown Gainesville.

Organic Farming Sustains Popularity Despite High Costs

North Central farmers are straying away from pesticide-filled, genetically engineered foods with an emphasis on organic practices. The number of organic farms has more than doubled in the past two years.


Bill Would Allow University Foundations to Discuss Research in Private

House Bill 115 passed Thursday with a vote of 83-33. The bill proposes the creation of secret meetings, which would be exempt from public records laws, when universities foundations discuss research proposals and money.


Visual for the “Staying Alive on I-75” campaign

Spreading Distracted Driving Awareness In Florida And Beyond

Distracted driving was the focus of a recent Interstate 75 campaign. Nationwide efforts are also being made to address this issue.


Photos from former Florida Governor Reubin Askew's visit to the University of Florida's  Bob Graham Center for Public Service on Nov. 14, 2011.

Former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew Dies At 85

Former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew, recognized for bringing transparency to Florida politics, died Thursday morning.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments