Gaezt says Senate will meet Monday to consider banning Internet cafes

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The Florida Senate will meet on Monday, March 18, to consider the outright banning of Internet cafes, according to a statement released late Wednesday afternoon by Senate President Don Gaetz’ office.

“The Senate Gaming Committee will meet on Monday, March 18, for the purpose of considering legislation to ban Internet cafes in Florida. I fully support such a ban as a precursor to additional legislation that may result from the comprehensive gaming review the Senate Gaming Committee has initiated.

“Beginning in November of 2011, I began challenging claims from those who encouraged me to support Internet cafes on the grounds that they contribute to charitable organizations.  Despite my questioning, I never received any credible information from any Internet cafe proponent indicating that these facilities were providing any meaningful contributions to charitable or veterans causes.  For that reason and others, I have consistently opposed Internet cafes, including co-introducing Senate Bill 428, the Simulated Gambling Prohibition and Community Protection Act during the 2012 Legislative Session.  

“During the 2012 election cycle, when I headed Senate Campaigns, I declined to meet with Allied Veterans and refused campaign contributions from the organization.  I have a practice of not accepting contributions to my own campaigns from gaming entities, and I did not knowingly accept campaign contributions from any Internet cafes for my own campaign or on behalf of the Republican Senate Majority.  However, in light of recent allegations that the Allied Veterans organization was operating with upwards of 40 subsidiary entities and under different and perhaps misleading names, I have asked for a top to bottom review of my own campaign contributions as well as funds raised by the Republican Senate Majority for the Republican Party of Florida during the 2012 cycle for which I had leadership responsibility.”

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.