TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — With little fanfare, Gov. Rick Scott has signed a bill that prohibits gaming centers also known as “internet cafes” which will shutdown the industry that critics have likened to “storefront casinos.”
The bill (HB 155) bans up to 1,000 storefront operations across the state. However, state officials say they will leave enforcement of the new law to local law-enforcement officials.
The bill will 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.
The new law takes effect immediately.
“The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”