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

Florida Inches Closer to Other States in Tuition Charged Undocumented Students

Florida may soon offer undocumented students in-state tuition at public colleges and universities, joining the ranks of 20 other states with similar tuition equity laws and policies.


Gov. Scott Declares State of Emergency for Heavy Rain Event

Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 26 counties, including Alachua County Wednesday morning. The National Weather Service has issued flood or flash flood warnings in several counties throughout North Central Florida.


Government Aid Loophole Raises Questions About Efficiency

A loophole in Florida’s Electronic Benefit Transfer card program allows eligible cardholders to buy restricted items through the cash-back option at many ATMs and stores.


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.


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
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments