Fate of Online Gambling Cafes to Be Decided by Florida Commission

The problem of Internet gambling cafes is still on the to-do list of the Florida legislature, as these games, referred to as sweepstakes, operate in a grey area of the law because they don’t technically qualify as a game of chance, since the outcomes are predetermined.

According to Senate President Don Gaetz, a committee will be appointed and put in charge of determining the fate of sweepstakes, and other gambling issues such as tribal gaming and parimutuel facilities.

The newly formed committee will have a two year mandate, in the meantime leaving the policing of Internet cafes at county level.

Since not all Internet cafe operators are interested in offering gambling, their own action group has been formed to defend their interests.

A spokesman for the group dubbed Coalition of Florida Internet Cafes this week stated: “We agree that the electronic sweepstakes technology has outpaced current law and that changes should be made to the law so that bad operators can be shut down and law enforcement and local governments can have the measuring stick they need to distinguish between the law abiding facilities and the questionable ones."

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