Fla. House votes to ban so-called Internet cafes

Critics call them storefront casinos

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida House wants to ban storefront operations known as Internet cafes.

The House on Thursday voted 72-43 to ban the cafes, which offer electronic sweepstakes entries to customers. Critics charge they are a form of illegal gambling and call the Internet cafes storefront casinos.

Those who support a ban include Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi.

But the push to ban the operations may go nowhere. That's because the Florida Senate so far has refused to move the Senate bill that calls for a ban.

Senators instead say they want to pass a bill that would regulate the more than 1,000 Internet cafes located around the state. They contend that banning the cafes would result in the loss of thousands of jobs.

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