On March 15, two days after an internet sweepstakes scandal brought down Florida's lieutenant governor, the state House Select committee on gaming voted to put the brakes on the so-called internet sweepstakes cafes.
According to Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV, the House gaming committee, which oversees gambling facilities and the Florida Lottery, voted on the ban by a final tally of 15-1. The bill, also known as HB 155, was rewritten the previous night to include the ban on internet cafes. Rep. Jim Waldman (D-Coconut Creek) was the lone no vote, saying that the committee did not have enough time to study the re-worked bill.
The move comes just two days after a jarring investigation into Allied Veterans of the World, a non-profit that was charged with running illegal gambling in its internet cafes. The investigation resulted in the arrest of 50 members of Allied Veterans and also resulted in the resignation of Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, who was a public relations representative with the company before she took the second-in-command spot beside Gov. Rick Scott.
The re-worked bill still needs to get pass the Rules committee before it comes to a vote in the legislature. The measure is expected to pass the Republican majority legislature.