Internet cafes now banned in Florida

Gov. Rick Scott signs bill into law

Published On: Apr 09 2013 05:50:11 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 10 2013 05:29:00 PM EDT
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Gaming centers also known as "Internet cafes" are now illegal in Florida.

Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Wednesday that bans up to 1,000 storefront operations across the state.

The new law took effect immediately after Scott signed the bill. Scott said in a statement that lawmakers "did the right thing to crack down on illegal gaming operators."

Enforcement of the new law is up to local law-enforcement.

Legislators voted overwhelmingly last week to approve the ban. It was a quick response to a recent scandal that led to dozens of arrests and the lieutenant governor's resignation.

The storefront operations targeted by the bill currently allow customers to play sweepstakes games that simulate slot machines. Critics contend the new law will also lead to the closure of senior arcades.

This new law can put as many as 14,000 people out of work.

"Don't punish the other people that want to make a good living," said Lori Greene, Dunnellon Resident.