House committee votes 15-to-1 to essentially outlaw Internet cafes

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The House Select Committee on Gaming took a step towards banning strip center Internet cafes that opponent say are simply illegal gambling establishments. The committee voted 15-1 Friday on an amended bill (HB 155) that would further clarify the definition of slot machines used at Internet cafés, adult arcades and macanitas, essentially outlawing the facilities. Legislative leaders have said it’s on a fast track for a quick floor vote, possibly next week.

The lone “no” vote was Rep. Jim Waldman who said he feared the Legislature was moving too quickly.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.