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House spinning wheels over Internet cafés

by 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.

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6 Responses to “House spinning wheels over Internet cafés”

  1. Denny Wood Says:

    The legislature really does not care if Florida taxpayers are ripped off at these small gambling places, complete with slot machines.

    And the legislature seems have sucked a lot of money out of different sides of the issue and fixed nothing, created no jobs, and are more interested in $500 contributions, quarterly.

    Our small organization is going to put the issue (3 issues) on the ballot and create jobs and bring billions to Florida, when the people vote:

    SECTION 14 COMMISSION ON GAMING There shall be a Commission on Gaming composed of seven members, of which shall have had not less than five years prior business experience at a management level in the gaming industry, appointed by the governor, that will consist of different gaming interests. Membership will be limited to four years, and no member can serve more that two consecutive terms. Reappointment may occur after 4 years. Florida Statutes precluding slot machines, and other gaming equipment and casinos are rendered moot. The commission shall exercise the regulatory and executive powers of the state with respect to and shall also exercise regulatory and executive powers of the state with respect to gaming, excluding the State Lottery. The commission shall establish procedures to ensure adequate due process in the exercise of its regulatory and executive functions. The commission’s exercise of executive powers shall be to encourage the industry of gaming, enhance competition, insure that the odds are industry standard or set forth by the Gaming Commission, and that machines used are using industry standard payouts, as set forth by the Gaming Commission. Gaming businesses will pay a 10% of revenues, monthly and such revenues will be collected by the Department of Revenue and shall be distributed (9% to) by the Commission to county boards of education and 1% shall be dedicated to gambling addiction programs licensed by the Gaming Commission. . Tax revenue collected by the state from gaming operations shall be allocated such that not less than 85% of those revenues are to be given to public education. Tax revenue collected by counties shall be allocated such that not less than 85% are to be given to public education. These provisions shall not apply to general sales taxes collected from the sale of merchandise.
    The gaming commission may withhold costs of operational expenses for the Gaming Commission and necessary staff to enforce the rules set forth by the Gaming Commission. The Gaming Commission will enact no employment standards for their staff, gaming owners or their employees that preclude employment of people on probation, parole, or with a criminal record. The Gaming Commission will set a employment preference of no less than 5% and no more than 15% of people with substantial physical disabilities within the Commission staff and gaming license holders. The gaming commission shall enact rules that require smokeless areas of the licensed gaming facilities. The commission shall not be a unit of any other state agency and shall have its own staff, which includes management, and enforcement. Salaries shall parallel the pay of the Fish and wildlife Conservation Commission. Any County or political subdivision of the County can opt out of gaming as set forth by the county election process. County Commission boards or citizen petition method may put this opt out issue on the County ballot.

    SECTION 14 COMMISSION ON GAMING There shall be a Commission on Gaming composed of seven members, of which shall have had not less than five years prior business experience at a management level in the gaming industry, appointed by the governor, that will consist of different gaming interests. Membership shall be limited to four years, and no member can serve more that two consecutive terms. Reappointment may occur after 4 years. Florida Statutes precluding slot machines, and other gaming equipment and casinos are rendered moot. The commission shall exercise the regulatory and executive powers of the state with respect to gaming. The commission shall establish procedures to ensure adequate due process in the exercise of its regulatory and executive functions. The commission’s exercise of executive powers shall be to encourage the industry of gaming, enhance competition, insure that the odds are industry standard, and that machines used are using industry standard payouts, as set forth by the Gaming Commission. Gaming businesses will pay a 10% of revenues, monthly and such revenues will be collected by the Department of Revenue and shall be distributed (9% to) by the Commission to county boards of education and 1% shall be dedicated to gambling addiction programs licensed by the Gaming Commission. Tax revenue collected by the state from gaming operations shall be allocated so that not less than 85% of those revenues are to be given to public education. These provisions shall not apply to general sales taxes. The gaming commission may withhold costs of operational expenses for the Gaming Commission and necessary staff to enforce the rules set forth by the Gaming Commission. The Gaming Commission will enact no employment standards for their staff, gaming owners or their employees that preclude employment of people on probation, parole, or with a criminal record. The Gaming Commission will set a employment preference of no less than 5% and no more than 15% of people with substantial physical disabilities within the Commission staff and gaming license holders. The gaming commission shall enact rules that require smokeless areas in the licensed gaming facilities. The commission shall not be a unit of any other state agency and shall have its own staff, which includes management, and enforcement. Salaries shall parallel the pay of the Fish and wildlife Conservation Commission. Any County or political subdivision of the County can opt out of gaming as set forth by the county election process. County Commission boards or citizen petition method may put this opt out issue on the County ballot.

    8. Clemency.—
    (a) Except in cases of treason and in cases where impeachment results in conviction, the governor may, by executive order filed with the custodian of state records, suspend collection of fines and forfeitures, grant reprieves not exceeding sixty days and, with the approval of two members of the cabinet, grant full or conditional pardons, restore civil rights, commute punishment, and remit fines and forfeitures for offenses.
    (b) In cases of treason the governor may grant reprieves until adjournment of the regular session of the legislature convening next after the conviction, at which session the legislature may grant a pardon or further reprieve; otherwise the sentence shall be executed.
    (c) There may be created by law a parole and probation commission with power to supervise persons on probation and to grant paroles or conditional releases to persons under sentences for crime. The qualifications, method of selection and terms, not to exceed six years, of members of the commission shall be prescribed by law.
    ADD:
    (d) Florida citizens who have completed their parole requirements shall have their voting rights automatically restored after two years of their parole ending date, provided they have not entered the misdemeanor, or felony court system.

    SECTION 15 EMPLOYMENT OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES.
    The State of Florida and its political subdivisions will give preference to people with disabilities as defined by the Florida Division of Blind Services and the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services eligibility requirements. The two Florida Divisions shall maintain a list of work ready persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities, including veterans of the armed services, seeking employment may list their names with these Florida Divisions. All open job opportunities in the State and its political subdivisions must be filled with people with disabilities on the waiting lists of these divisions. Such Divisions may certify that there were no work ready candidates that could fill the open positions due to their disability or no applicants were available. A counselor from these Divisions shall follow the person with disabilities at least for two years after employment and work with the person with a disability and the employee’s supervisor.

  2. Denny Wood Says:

    Hopefully the moderator will delete the duplicate amendment as this column has no edit feature.

  3. Cliff Says:

    Calling a gambling operation an Internet Cafe is quite a stretch… Starbucks is essentially an Internet Cafe… does this mean they are going to close Starbucks too?

  4. George Says:

    Scott is a petty liberal dressed as a Conservative.

    Governenment is the problem not the solution… See how these liberals-progressives have destroyed America. NASA is gone, The US postal service is destroyed. Canada is selling her natural gas to China as result of Emperor Obama to dismantle America. Scott is no different here

  5. Downtown Danny Says:

    Now we hear Republicans running for President barking about Government in our lives – here we have Republicans barking that they should pass laws to control what people do with own money on their own time.
    Why can’t I have cafe to gamble a few dollars in?
    Why can’t I have a casino to bet on the Dolphins or play craps?
    Because Republicans want more government in my life running it based on their interpretation of a 2,000 year old book.
    I can run my own life, spend my own money, and do the things I want to do without the input of people like Newt “The Adulterer” Gingrich and Rick “Psycho” Sanitarium.

  6. Larry G Says:

    I don’t often agree with Senator Haridopolous but his staemant that the budget is the priority is correct. This year redistricting is the ohter thing to get done. If you arn’t working on those 2 items you are wasting time on my dollar.

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