The centers have been able to proliferate in strip malls throughout the state in part because they have claimed to be charities and businesses that only offer "sweepstake” prizes. Critics, from the Florida Chamber of Commerce to Hollywood's Mardi Gras Gaming, contend the businesses skirt state regulations and don’t have to pay the 35 percent tax rate that licensed pari-mutuels are charged by Florida.

The committee had been expected to wait on a proposed moratorium that would have prohibited new arcades from opening until after a study on the overall impacts of existing and proposed gaming in Florida is completed by October 1, Richter said.