Gov. Scott to sign bill today banning Internet cafes

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With little fanfare, Governor Rick Scott is expected to sign a bill (HB 155) today that would prohibit the electronic games used at Internet cafes and likely shut down the industry that critics have likened to “storefront casinos.”

cott’s office confirmed the bill signing, with additional details released later.

Critics have said Internet cafes offer games that are similar to slot machines. The bill would not affect slot machines at state-approved pari-mutuel facilities and tribal casinos.

The proposal was shepherded quickly through the Legislature after an investigation led to raids last month at Internet cafes across the state and the arrests of 57 people. The scandal also forced the resignation of former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, who in the past did consulting work for Allied Veterans of the World, a charity at the center of the investigation.

Via the News Service of Florida.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.