House spinning wheels over Internet cafésby Dara Kam | February 9th, 2012
A ban on Internet cafés poised for a House floor vote appears to be dead in the Senate, which likely won’t do anything about regulating the so-called “casinos on the corner” either.
A Senate committee approved a measure regulating the cafés, and would have killed a bill to ban them despite the support of Gov. Rick Scott who said they should be outlawed.
“Candidly, the Internet cafés are not a major pressing issue in our world. We’re focused on the budget,” Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, said.
Haridopolos pointed out a proposal to ban the cafés would not have made it through its first committee stop and said his chamber would “take a look” at the measure (HB 3) if the House passes it.
“In the grand scheme of things, it’s not our major focal point. I guess some people are really excited about taking that issue on. It’s pretty low on our totem pole,” Haridopolos said.
A pair of competing legal opinions – one from the Seminole Tribe’s lawyers and another from lawyers for the cafés – say that SB 390 that would regulate the cafés would nullify a compact with the tribe potentially losing the state $233 million a year, or that it wouldn’t.