12 unpermitted internet cafes close doors after crackdown

No arrests of violators were reported Wednesday

Inspectors found that eight of the sixteen games they intended to shut down actually had proper permits . Those arcades they can continue to operate for now but will have to shut down in February when all the adult gaming must close

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Wednesday was the deadline for employees of unpermitted adult arcades, also known as internet cafes, to close up and clear out or face the possibility of arrest.

As of Wednesday evening, there were no arrests of violators reported to News4Jax. The crackdown on adult arcades follows an ordinance passed unanimously by the Jacksonville City Council to ban simulated gaming devices.

News4Jax has been following the game room saga for several weeks, and on Tuesday, inspectors and police officers began condemning game rooms around Jacksonville.

After visiting the game rooms Wednesday, News4Jax found that 12 had been shut down or had closed on their own, including two game rooms at the beaches along Mayport Road.

The city originally targeted 23 game rooms during this first round of shutdowns. That number dropped to about 16. Some adult arcades were already closed, and two game rooms took the matter to court and settled with the city. The rooms that settled will be allowed to stay open until futher notice.

When inspectors went to the sites Tuesday, News4Jax learned that they found eight of the 16 game rooms actually had proper permits.

Of those eight game rooms with proper permits, six will be allowed to remain open until February, which is when all of the adult arcades in Jacksonville must close.

The remaining two arcades were found to have code or fire violations. Those must be addressed before reopening.

About the Author:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.