Police State: Florida Bans Internet Cafes

Well, it's official. Florida governor Rick Scott signed into legislation the "Internet Cafe Ban," which effectively closed down around 1,000 such establishments in the state. The ban went into effect immediately, though some cafes shut their doors a week ago under the assumption that the ban would go through.

A report in Florida Today paints a picture of displaced senior citizens who had been meeting at the cafes to socialize with one another, hop on the Internet, and for legal gambling, the latter of which is what prompted the ban in the first place.

Internet Cafe
Image Source: Flickr (Ollie Crafoord)

"I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't go bar-hopping. This is my entertainment," 59-year-old Pat Nash told Florida Today. Nash was a worker at the Mardi Gras Internet cafe in Melbourne who now finds herself headed to the unemployment office. She said she was disheartened by the governor's decision to ban Internet cafes.

The ban was a result of a multi-year investigation into illegal gambling at Internet cafes run by Allied Veterans of the World. The organization was found to be running a $290 million illegal gambling ring in which most of the money ended up in the owners' pockets. Some 57 owners and operators associated with Allied Veterans were arrested before the ban was signed into law.
Via:  Florida Today
YoanLessard one year ago

It begins. First it was arcades. now this

OSunday one year ago

I thought this looked pretty ridiculous until I saw that an illegal gambling ring was being run at the expense of most retired old folk.

However if the people are playing for fun and enjoying their time does it really matter if they're not winning a majority of the time, I don't think it necessarily bad aside from the fact it's illegal.

There had to have been a much more efficient way to handle an illegal gambling ring that shutting down a legitimate form of business, service and entertainment through internet cafes though.

Good Job, Florida!!

Clixxer one year ago

I would think a better way could be found to make sure these cafes aren't doing anything illegal than an all out ban on them. I understand that illegal gambling is a big deal to alot of states but outright bans on that seems very excessive. Hopefully someone can come up with a better way or something. I haven't even used an internet cafe but know people that use them regularly but closing down 1,000 businesses assuming they were above board like I said seems excessive.

lipe123 one year ago

Are you for real?! They banned public internet access because of online gambling?

What is this, is the US turning into china with online content filtering and whatnot! Whats to stop people from just gambling from the privacy of their own homes then?

So the next step is obviously to get every home owner to get a "wiretap" device installed on their home networks to make sure there is no gambling going on.

Also next up Florida will prolly start to ban the sales of Dice?

This is pretty *****ing stupid and considering how crappy the US economy already is I don't see how they could possibly think shutting down a buttload of shops makes sense.

MValerio one year ago

I thought we were trying to reverse unemployment.

LazyNavy one year ago

So what this says is that everyone that uses an Internet Cafe is involved in illegal gambling, and the owners are complicit or actively engaged in the illegal action. If doing this is OK then why not ban all cars from the road because there are drunk drivers out there, or lets shut down the universities because it may teach someone enough information to carry out a crime. Close all the liquor stores because some kid bought a pack of cigarettes or some teenager drank a beer.

Why didn’t they go after the illegal gambling ring, shut them down like they did online poker. They didn’t shut down the internet or ban home PC's because of that. This is just lazy prejudicial lawmaking and IMHO a severe abuse of government resources and power. The Florida Government should be fired... Oh by the way we should shut down all government buildings because we know there are corrupt politicians out there and I’m sure those buildings are used to plan and plot crimes against humanity.

KOwen one year ago

Why not just legalize gambling and tax it? What is it with this country and the government trying to ban human nature. You don't have a duty to protect us from ourselves Uncle Sam.

Clixxer one year ago

[quote user="KOwen"]

Why not just legalize gambling and tax it? What is it with this country and the government trying to ban human nature. You don't have a duty to protect us from ourselves Uncle Sam.


That would have been the easy route to go and we all know our great and powerful gov't cant use common sense.

realneil one year ago

This is a knee-jerk over reaction if I ever saw one.

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