Associated Press Release
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A special House panel has cleared a bill that would ban Florida gambling establishments commonly known as Internet cafes.
The House Select committee on gaming Friday voted 15-1 on a bill (HB 155) that was rewritten last night. Rep. Jim Waldman was the only vote against. The Coconut Creek Democrat said the committee hadn’t had enough time to study the measure.
The bill still needs to clear the Rules committee before heading to the floor.
The action comes just days after revelation of an investigation into the Allied Veterans of the World charity at the center of an illegal gambling investigation.
The probe has resulted in nearly 50 arrests and the resignation of Florida’s lieutenant governor. Jennifer Carroll had provided public-relations representation to the company before her election.
Posted: Friday, March 15, 2013 10:44 am | Updated: 10:50 am, Fri Mar 15, 2013 | WTXL.Com
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) – Lawmakers are moving to ban Internet cafes in Florida.
Friday the House Select Committee on Gaming voted 15-1 on House Bill 155. The bill would effectively deem internet cafes illegal by clarifying the definition of slot machines used at Internet cafes, adult arcades.
The bill is expected to be passed by the House next week.
“Internet casinos are a front for gambling and a breeding ground for other illegal activity,” said Adam Putnam, Florida’s Secretary of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “We must close the loophole in the law that has enabled them to invade our communities. The House Committee’s vote today brings us one step closer to shutting down Internet casinos and improving the safety of Florida’s communities.”
While their legality has been questioned for several legislative sessions, Internet cafes have quickly become front and center this week after 57 arrests involving individuals with Allied Veterans of the World.
State and Federal agents say Allied Veterans of the World was a non-profit charity that was just a front for a scheme allowing its owner to pocket nearly $300 million, with little of that money going to veterans charities as they said it was.
The investigation also pushed Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll to suddenly resign, though she has not been charged in the case.