Despite Internet cafe ban, not all closed

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Now that the state has banned Internet cafes, one would expect they would be closed.

Most are, but not all.

Calypso Sun Cyber Cafe off Southside Boulevard was still open Thursday, and those there said they will stay open until they are told they have to close down.

So far they have not been served with any cease and desist order.

The crowds were not as big as they were Wednesday, but the Internet cafe was still handing out cash prizes.

Customers are glad about that and thought for sure it would be gone.

"I am upset they are going to close those places," customer Rinato Guerrero said. "Somebody did something and everybody is going to pay for it. I believe this (business) is very legitimate."

Calypso Sun's owners said they will keep operating their five cafes because no one has come in and told them they can't. They were legal before and believe they still are.

Other cafes around town are not taking that chance and their doors are locked with notes saying they hope to be back.

Attorney Mitch Stone is representing attorney Kelly Mathis, who detectives say masterminded the Allied Veterans of the World Internet cafe case that began the crackdown and sparked the closures. Mathis faces 208 counts.

Stone said he read the new law the governor signed.

"What that law says is they are now making these things illegal," he said. "Whether that's clear or not by that law, I have not analyzed. What I do know is that at the time Allied was operating the Internet cafes, what they were doing was indeed legal."

Stone said he'll be back in court in May representing his client.

As for enforcement of the new law, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said it will be working with Code Enforcement, but it would not release details on how it plans to enforce it.

Other Internet cafe owners say they are contemplating a lawsuit as well to fight the ban.

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.