Petition supports Internet cafes

Group starts online petition to prevent Internet cafe ban

Published On: Mar 21 2013 11:44:36 PM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Since the Allied Veterans Internet cafe crackdown, there has been a push in the Florida state legislature to ban all Internet cafes in Florida.

The news does not sit well with cafe supporter Bill Durham.

“I've hung out here quite a bit. Helped out some. Just a consumer. Watch the news... Don't feel the game rooms are getting a fair shake on the deal,” said Durham.

Durham contacted Channel 4 to tell us about the online petition on saveourinternetcafes.com.

“If you believe everyone should have a choice, then we need you to get on the computer and sign the petition,” said Durham.

Along with a number of other game room enthusiasts, Durham doesn’t feel the establishments they frequent should be punished because of Allied Veterans.

“Allied Vets is a separate agency. Whether they're innocent or not…always innocent until proven guilty. Whether they're guilty or not… a lot of good people lost their jobs when that happened. Several good friends of mine lost their job,” he said.

Despite the groundswell of support for Internet cafes through thie petition, a lot of lawmakers want them shut down.

"As I've said all along they're crawling through what we think are loopholes in the law, and a lot of us have believed they have been illegal right from the get go and we see the law enforcement start to act, so I'm just glad this day is coming,” said former state Rep. Scott Plakon.