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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Scott signs bill outlawing Internet cafes



John Shaa sat in his office Wednesday, waiting for the call from his friend in Tallahassee. Shaa, owner of That Great Place Internet Cafe in Clearwater, couldn't bear to watch the news. He was afraid it might tell him he had to close his cafe, his primary source of income, and lay off 12 people.

Shaa's fears were realized when Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill that bans Internet sweepstakes cafes in Florida.

"My employees have families to feed. Many are over 50, making it hard for them to find work in this economy," Shaa said. "One man was looking for a job for four years before I hired him And just like that, they're all out of jobs."

With no fanfare, the governor signed HB 155 in the privacy of his Capitol office. The law was effective immediately, giving law enforcement new definitions on illegal gambling machines.

See the rest of the story here.

[Last modified: Thursday, April 11, 2013 12:58pm]


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