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Florida House Passes Bill To Ban "Internet Cafes" 124

Posted by timothy
from the enough-of-this-let's-go-watch-the-sausages dept.
squiggleslash writes "Concerned about their use as fronts for gambling operations, the Florida legislature passed a law banning Internet cafes. The law appears to be a reaction in part to the recent stepping down of Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, embroiled in a scandal involving a company that operates Internet Cafes. More ordinary cafes with Wi-fi, where you supply your own computer (such as Starbucks), are not affected by the ban." The nomenclature here is confusing; the bill (PDF) (summary) is clearly aimed only at "cafes" that are essentially gambling venues; an Internet cafe wouldn't violate the proposed rule merely by providing computers. Whatever you think of prohibitions on gambling among consenting adults, the bill itself is sort of amusing for its very specific loopholes for bingo and "reverse vending machines."
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Florida House Passes Bill To Ban "Internet Cafes"

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  • Then ban Gambling (Score:0, Insightful)

    by mozumder (178398) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @08:27AM (#43256285)

    Because government can't prohibit people from assembling peacefully - tthey can only control commerce.

  • Really? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @08:31AM (#43256301) Homepage

    Who has actually had an "internet cafe" in the past 10 years? Or do they consider Starbucks and free wifi an "internet cafe"?

    Honestly, you can buy a useable used laptop for around $35.00 and then go to mc donalds for free internet. Are they going to ban McDonalds? That would be one thing that would do some actual good.

  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @08:43AM (#43256363) Journal

    If gambling is already illegal...why do they need another law? Perhaps they need to fix their gambling statute instead.

  • About time... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MangoCats (2757129) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @08:49AM (#43256383)

    These places aren't about internet access at all, they are plain and simple gambling establishments.

    If you want to legalize gambling, fine, do it. But, letting it happen this way just leads to sad little strip-mall locations where poor people gather to lose what little money they have in the name of "entertainment."

  • by radiumsoup (741987) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @08:49AM (#43256387)

    this, like most laws, clarifies and expands on an existing statute... so, essentially, they're doing exactly what you propose.

  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rmdingler (1955220) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @08:58AM (#43256425)
    I'm not a huge fan of banning something for everyone because a minority of miscreants are incapable of using it responsibly. The lawmakers, in their seemingly endless struggle to legislate every hot button topic that reaches the news feeds, make themselves and their silly rules less relevant with each new weighty tome of regulations. It's not that human kind has moved beyond the need for codes of conduct, far from it, but once everything is against the law we are all lawbreakers.
  • Re:About time... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wbr1 (2538558) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @09:00AM (#43256439)
    If you are trying to stop poor people from spending their money unwisely you better also ban

    Check cashing places (get a bank account)
    Title and payday loan places (90% plus of their business preys on the disadvantaged)
    Rent-To_own centers (usurious interest and crappy products all for only 99 cents a week. You can get this $300 computer for $3000 when you are paid off)

    While we are at it:
    Lottery tickets
    Mountain Dew (hell most soda)
    Malt Liquor
    Fast Food
    Cigarettes

    Money is better spent educating those that can be.
  • by supercrisp (936036) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @09:08AM (#43256487)
    I thought the reason Carroll stepped down was because of her connection with Allied Veterans, the supposed charity for veterans that turned out to be a huge scam?
  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @09:30AM (#43256581) Journal

    I'm not a huge fan of banning something for everyone because a minority of miscreants are incapable of using it responsibly.

    Pollution laws? Money laundering laws? Driving laws? Building codes? Product liability laws? Noise ordinances?

    The miscreants are not as small of a minority as you think.
    Hell, laws against public drunkenness precede the founding of the USA.

    but once everything is against the law we are all lawbreakers.

    This won't be a problem until enforcement catches up with the law.
    Once that happens, public backlash tends to get laws rolled back.
    Red light cameras are a great example of over enforcement leading to massive pushback.

  • Confusion, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Antony T Curtis (89990) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @09:37AM (#43256623) Homepage Journal

    What I don't get is why the USA is so uptight about "gambling"? If they were really serious about getting rid of big-time gambling operations, they really should ban the stock market and insurance.

  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RabidReindeer (2625839) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @09:55AM (#43256771)

    So their logic is that because something could be 'abused' (laws against Internet gambling are idiotic as well), we should ban it entirely? I guess we should ban... everything in existence!

    Let's see. A STATE GOVERNMENT official is involved in a criminal operation that involves cyber-cafes. So the STATE's response is to ban the cyber-cafe's!. Yup. Makes perfect sense.

  • by porkThreeWays (895269) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:01AM (#43256823)
    They had to make a lot of noise about it because the lieutenant governor and a trashy company got caught screwing veterans. This was for the "someone should do something about that" crowd.
  • by DragonTHC (208439) <Dragon@NosPAM.gamerslastwill.com> on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:05AM (#43256855) Homepage Journal

    which, for the poor, this type of business is useful and helpful. So it must be an attack on the poor.

    Regardless of if you can gamble at an Internet cafe, the business serves other uses.

    It's like banning car rental places because some people use cars to commit crimes.

  • Re:About time... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:16AM (#43256965) Homepage

    You can plot the poor (crime, rape, murder) areas of town just by the location of these places. About the only thing they serve for me is where *not* to live when planning to move. But yes, these loan sharks need to be shutdown!

  • Re:Confusion, (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:29AM (#43257061) Homepage Journal

    What I don't get is why the USA is so uptight about "gambling"? If they were really serious about getting rid of big-time gambling operations, they really should ban the stock market and insurance.

    America is a nation built upon the idea that if you document and legislate all of your corruption that you no longer have any, because it is a matter of law. Entrenched powers thus press their advantage to keep the classes proportioned such that they maximize their profit. Gambling represents a means of laundering funds that can make an end-run around this system and provide opportunities for the lower classes to improve their situation, which challenges the social order. The major profits from stock and insurance scams (of both the legal and illegal varieties) are only available to those who already have money, and selective enforcement permits punishing only those whose initial fortune was not built with the approval of the establishment to prevent them from succeeding.

    In short, like every superpower of which I'm aware, the USA seeks fervently to maintain the status quo. If you put yourself in a position to suck from the government teat you can profit from oppressive laws, and in the process help ensure its perpetuation and that of the bootprint upon all necks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 23, 2013 @10:41AM (#43257139)

    this bans gambling... those places used the internet cafe name but they are not what you think as an internet cafe...

  • by Internal Modem (1281796) on Saturday March 23, 2013 @11:08AM (#43257337)
    Yes. Allied Veterans was running Internet Cafes and claiming the profits were going to veterans.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 23, 2013 @11:12AM (#43257367)

    Banning gambling is pretty useless in Florida. We have many casinos already on reservations, and there are always the boat casinos going out into international waters.

    In the past election there was a bill to allow gambling in the county. I don't know how it went, but places to gamble are not hard to find.

  • by DragonTHC (208439) <Dragon@NosPAM.gamerslastwill.com> on Saturday March 23, 2013 @03:49PM (#43259177) Homepage Journal

    most poor people end up working a hell of a lot harder than "non-poor". Falling under the poverty line and living paycheck to paycheck doesn't mean you're not poor.

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist

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