Did Florida Lawmakers Check the Bill on Banning Slot Machines and Internet Cafes?By Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
Around three months ago, when Florida lawmakers voted to ban all slot machines and internet cafes in an attempt to prevent customers from gambling online, they apparently did not draft the bill carefully.
The bill had poor choice of words that totally sent out a different meaning. The law which actually intended to stop people from playing games like bingo and other slots-type games, now deems any electronic device including computers and smart phones, that is capable of playing a 'game of chance' on the Internet, illegal.
"The ban defines illegal slot machines as any "system or network of devices" that may be used in a game of chance," Huffington Post reports.
As soon as the bill went into effect in April, Florida's 1000 Internet cafes were shut down immediately.
The poorly-worded law is currently being challenged in court by Consuelo Zapata, an Internet cafe owner, who had to shut down her business after a scandal surfaced involving Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll.
Early this year, Carroll was forced to step down from her post because a charity she consulted 'Allied Veterans of the World,' a St. Augustine-based charity organization was suspected to function as an Internet gambling front. The charity was subsequently closed.
Attorneys for Zapata stated that her cafe 'Incredible Investments, LLC at Miami-Dade, provided online services to migrant workers, tourists and others. They claim that the law has been badly written and 'was passed in a frenzy fuelled by distorted judgement in the wake' of the scandal.
Zapata is now suing the state hoping that the court will rule in her favor and lift the ban on internet cafes by terming it, unconstitutional.