Spotty enforcement and a jumble of state laws is making it hard for state officials to regulate the booming ?nternet Sweepstakes Caf? business, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam told reporters Wednesday. More than 1,000 of the venues have opened up across the state, including two separate facilities owned by Rep. Peter Nehr, R-Palm Harbor and Sen . Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton. Backers say the games played there are similar to Monopoly and other sweepstakes games that are legal in the state. Critics say they are gambling establishments no different than video poker and slot machine venues. ?here is am ambiguity in the law itself that is leading to uneven enforcement – that? unhealthy regardless of who the impacted parties are,?Putnam said. ?ou can? have a rule of law that is subject to an individual sheriff? or state attorney? interpretation.?Bills to regulate the industry were filed this year but went nowhere.
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.