Make us your home page

Bay Buzz

The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Murman nearly blows Internet sweeps ban



Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory Wednesday.

Murman was the driving advocate for a ban on the machines used to reveal winnings at so-called Internet sweepstakes cafes that ultimately passed on a 5-2 vote. But after limited debate, Murman was ready to give up based on her reading of how other commissioners were leaning.

Commissioners had a separate proposal before them due to get voted on first that simply called for a moratorium on new sweepstakes cafes until legislators or the courts clarify the rules governing them. Murman, expecting its passage based on other commissioners' comments and sounding defeated, signaled that she would come back later with additional rule proposals while the moratorium was in place.

"Commissioner Murman, I think your comments may be premature," said Commission Chairman Ken Hagan, stepping in for the rescue, encouraging her, in essence, to wait for more discussion..

Sure enough, the moratorium proposal failed on a 3-4 vote, clearing the way for a vote on her proposed ban.

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 9:51pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours