Internet Cafe Gambling in Florida - Law Means All Computers Illegal?

OK, so this one maybe just a little bit of fun, but it simply has to be written. Did the fine state of Florida make a slight error in wording the new law that has made internet cafes illegal? Actually yes it did if you go by the exact letter of the law. The hastily put together bill by Florida lawmakers actually makes all computers and smartphones illegal in the state, but let's not panic too much, we very much doubt that a Floridian is about to be thrown in jail for owning a laptop.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott passed the bill that put a ban on internet cafes and on slot machines in April this year and the bill was pushed through state legislation extremely quickly. The speed of the passing of the bill is thought to be due to the fact that FL Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll was associated with a charity that was shut down, as it was believed that it was being used for an internet gambling business. Carroll was forced to resign and Gov. Rick Scott whizzed the bill through. The problem is that the bill was so poorly worded that it includes 'any system or network of devices that can be used in a game of chance' which means just about anything connected to the internet.

This somewhat huge error was discovered by Consuelo Zapata, who is the owner of one of the internet cafes that were forced to close down by the law. A lawsuit is now being filed by Zapata which includes the statement that, "in a frenzy fueled by distorted judgment in the wake of a scandal that included the Lieutenant Governor's resignation." OK, so the bill is clearly aimed at the owners of the internet cafes and there is indeed nothing to panic about, it's a simple fact of not really having thought that particular sentence through. However it does highlight that in creation of new bills that are geared toward any form of internet activity, lawmakers really do need to take a look at the law that they are actually trying to implement, make it a little clearer and not use such vague and broad stroke terms. We expect a few comments and quite possibly an amendment to come rather soon.

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