FDLE provides guidelines on new Internet cafe laws

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is sending out guidelines to all police departments and sheriff's offices in the state about shutting down Internet cafes.

Certain games inside the sweepstakes adult arcades became illegal Wednesday when Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill into law.

The legislation reaffirms that Internet cafes are not exempted from gambling laws.

FDLE says continued unlawful operations of cafes will mean patrons, owners and employees could be criminally prosecuted.

DOCUMENT: Internet cafe guidelines handout

FDLE wants all law enforcement agencies to know the following:

  • Those who own, operate or oversee a house or other place for unlawful gaming or gambling are guilty of a third-degree felony.
  • Agents or employees of such establishments are also guilty of a third-degree felony.
  • Unlawful possession of gambling devices, to include unlawful slot machines, is a misdemeanor.
  • Individuals who engage in unlawful gambling activities are guilty of a misdemeanor.

The call to ban Internet cafes came after a major Internet cafe gambling scheme led to dozens of arrests, including the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police president and vice president.

It also led to the resignation of Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll.

FDLE says any person concerned that he or she may be engaged in actions that are in violation of Florida's criminal laws should seek advice from a private attorney.

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