Politics

Adult Arcades Closing Around State Due To New Internet Cafe Law

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Gambling machine at an internet cafe.  (CBS4)

Gambling machine at an internet cafe. (CBS4)

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Legislative Session Coverage

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — The Florida Arcade Association estimates that 150 adult arcades across the state have voluntarily closed their doors since Gov. Rick Scott signed a law last week intended to close all strip-center gaming parlors.

“We’ve shut down until we can get somebody to clarify what we’re doing,” said Association president Gale Fontaine on Friday.

The association, which claims its businesses are different than the Internet cafes and other businesses that were targeted by the legislation, is backing a lawsuit filed on Thursday that seeks to block the law.

Boardwalk Brothers, Inc., which operates an arcade in Tamarac, and Play It Again, LLC, which has a business in Davie, claim the law Scott signed April 10 that only allows coin-operated machines “is vague, arbitrary and not rationally related to any legitimate governmental purpose.”

The law was shepherded quickly through the Legislature after a multi-state and federal investigation led to raids in March at Internet cafes across Florida 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 News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”

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