The Governor Closes Storefront Gambling

26 May 2013 – By Jane Spiegel

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Recent news from the American online casino gambling market is about the industry in the state of Florida. A few days ago, Florida Governor signed a law aimed at closing hundreds of storefront online gambling operations across the state. Also known as “Internet cafes”, the illegal operations were at the center of a three-year federal investigation that culminated last month with multiple arrests on charges of money-laundering and racketeering. In this investigation, the name of a non-profit organization came up, Allied Veterans of the World. Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll and Allied were accused of reaping about $300 million in revenues from gambling centers operating under the guise of Internet cafes, and sharing only about 2 percent of it with veterans.

Retirees in many towns in Florida are big supporters of the “adult arcade” businesses despite the fact that the new statute allows games of skill, not chance, and limits prizes to 75 cents per win. The same supporters also believe this law wipes out about 14,000 jobs at some 1,000 businesses. But online casino fans, including the state’s governor think the House and Senate did the right thing to crack down on illegal gaming.

After the arrests and Carroll’s resignation legislators raced the new online gambling bill. At the vote in the House and the Senate, only five members voted against it, all from southeast Florida where the adult arcades are popular. The law in Florida allowed companies to offer sweepstakes as a promotion for selling another product and under this pretext Internet cafes could operate without being illegal. In 2011, the US Justice Department cleared the way for US states to legalize Internet poker and certain other online betting. Under a 1961 telecommunication law, all online gambling was illegal. The law had been aimed at halting wire communications for sports gambling, notably off-track betting on horse races. In present day, many states in the US have taken important steps into regulating online casino gambling. Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware are some of the states that made online casino poker legal. Many gambling enthusiasts are extremely excited to be able to enjoy their favorite online casino style games from the comfort of their homes, whenever they want and where ever they are.

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