Scott tells lawmakers to shutter Internet cafés: ‘I don’t believe in it.’by Dara Kam | January 18th, 2012
Gov. Rick Scott said this morning he wants lawmakers to outlaw Internet cafés rather than regulate them as Senate leaders are proposing.
“I don’t believe that the Internet locations are legal or should be legal,” Scott told reporters this morning. “It’s an area that I think doesn’t make sense. I don’t believe in it.”
A House committee passed a measure banning the “casinos on the corner” yesterday but the Senate appears to favor a proposal that would regulate the cafés which operate as “sweepstakes.” Customers pay for Internet time, which they can use to browse the Web or play the games in which computer time or credit is won. Critics say the games are highly addictive and prey on the poor.
Palm Beach County commissioners recently issued a moratorium blocking any new cafes from opening in unincorporated areas.
Scott rejected suggestions that the games are not as bad as the Lottery. Scott’s administration wants the Lottery to sell more tickets this year to help pay for public schools. Scott said the state authorized the Lottery years ago.
“It generates money for our schools. We’re not going to change that,” he said.