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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

John Romano column: Internet cafe ban is about politicians covering their butts



Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano's latest column is on the real story behind the Internet cafe ban. An excerpt:

Here is a Cliffs Notes-style time line of how this bill found its way to Gov. Rick Scott's desk:

1. Entrepreneurs discover they can make hefty profits by simulating casino-style games on computers in neighborhood storefronts.

2. Politicians harrumph.

3. Entrepreneurs donate to political campaigns.

4. The harrumphing stops.

5. A federal investigation of one of the largest Internet cafe corporations results in dozens of high-profile arrests and contributes to the resignation of the lieutenant governor.

6. Lawmakers act shocked — Shocked! — to find there is gambling going on.

While this unofficial record of events is not as comprehensive or annotated as the state's version, I like to think it is a more accurate reflection of what really happened.


[Last modified: Thursday, April 11, 2013 10:21am]


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