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When Florida lawmakers recently voted to ban all Internet cafes, they worded the bill so poorly that they effectively outlawed every computer in the state, according to a recent lawsuit.
 
In April Florida Governor Rick Scott approved a ban on slot machines and Internet cafes after a charity tied to Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll was shut down on suspicion of being an Internet gambling front -- forcing Carroll, who had consulted with the charity, to resign.
 
Florida's 1,000 Internet cafes were shut down immediately, including Miami-Dade's Incredible Investments, LLC, a caf? that provides online services to migrant workers, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
 
The owner, Consuelo Zapata, is now suing the state after her legal team found that the ban was so hastily worded that it can be applied to any computer or device connected to the Internet, according to a copy of the complaint obtained by The Miami Herald.
 
The ban defines illegal slot machines as any "system or network of devices" that may be used in a game of chance.
 
And that broad wording can be applied to any number of devices, according to the Miami law firm of Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine, who worked with constitutional law attorney and Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz.
 
The suit maintains that the ban was essentially passed "in a frenzy fueled by distorted judgment in the wake of a scandal that included the Lieutenant Governor?s resignation" and declares it unconstitutional.

 

 

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/08/florida-banned-computers_n_3561701.html

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Florida passing insane legislation? Quelle surprise!

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Well, that's gonna cause NASA one or two issues... :p

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reminds me of the old florida jokes I used to read back in the late 1990's

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Wow, that is some vague wording. *facepalm*

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good sheeptizen must obey the LAW.

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Good -- will put a stop to the rampant poRn. :p

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The fact is most legislation isn't written by the lawmakers but by Legislative Assistants. The legislator tells them their position and they translate it into legalese, often badly. See Obamacare, or any number of other laws that trampled the Law of Unintended Consequences.

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What an incredibly stupid idea to begin with. "This one guy abused something, so let's shut down all of what is otherwise a valuable and useful service." ######?

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about as dumb as a law that is STILL ON THE BOOKS in Pennsylvania that makes it illegal to own a router...... a law that was created in pre-internet days when it was a gov network...

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What an incredibly stupid idea to begin with. "This one guy abused something, so let's shut down all of what is otherwise a valuable and useful service." ######?

 

I thought the same thing when I read it. I can't say it surprises me though. 

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What an incredibly stupid idea to begin with. "This one guy abused something, so let's shut down all of what is otherwise a valuable and useful service." ######?

 

It's an epidemic problem in the U.S. where laws are based off of shortsighted, knee-jerk reactions that are misguided by emotions rather than deep, insightful understanding of the problem.  These stupid laws do little to prevent crime, but do a whole lot more in punishing law-abiding citizens by stripping their rights or away.  

 

If you see a bad apple or two in the basket, don't throw out the whole basket, why not just pick out the bad ones and leave the good ones?

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They should do a re-count.  :rofl:

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...Ban gambling but still allow the lottery? hypocrites!

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Good thing I moved out of Miami in time. :p

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...Ban gambling but still allow the lottery? hypocrites!

Well of course, the lottery is state sponsored and the money goes to them. Not the case at the computer gambling places.

 

I did read the actual bill though and from what I read it's no where near as vague as these news articles make it sound. From what I understood you'd have to have an electronic device that allows you to put money or credits in, play a game of chance, and get money or credits out. I think the key is getting money or some kind of currency back. There are plenty of games you can pay for on your phone or computer, but how many spit money back out at you? I can see it potentially causing issues with something like Xbox Live or similar where you put money in to play, but even there you never get money back or even win MS points back. I think it's wording could be a little better, but I think it's still a bit of a sensationalist story, as always.

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I told my boss today that I couldn't do my job because it broke the law.

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...Ban gambling but still allow the lottery? hypocrites!

 

The lottery dumps a TON of money back into the Florida education system.

 

Though the Florida Lottery?s expenses and payouts vary from year to year, approximately 50 to 60 percent of its net revenue makes up the games? prize pools, 30 to 40 percent is transferred to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund, 6 percent is paid to retailers in the form of commissions, 2 percent is paid to the Lottery?s on-line and Scratch-Off ticket vendors, and the remaining 2 percent covers operational costs, including advertising.

 

 

What an incredibly stupid idea to begin with. "This one guy abused something, so let's shut down all of what is otherwise a valuable and useful service." ######?

 

This was the same as gambling, old people were going to these "internet cafes", paying real money to play games online, like slot machines to earn credit/points that could be exchanges for prizes or gas cards. The games were a game of chance, not a game of skill. And the article isn't accurate.

 

The law that was passed actually states a game of chance/skill in return for various items/rewards

 

This is the actual bill text, they took out of context what they wanted for their law suit and used it. Read the whole section it is pretty clear : Here is a link also - http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Documents/loaddoc.aspx?FileName=_h0155er.docx&DocumentType=Bill&BillNumber=0155&Session=2013

 

 

As used in this chapter, the term "slot machine or 
182 device" means any machine or device or system or network of 
183 devices is a slot machine or device within the provisions of 
184 this chapter if it is one that is adapted for use in such a way 
185 that, upon activation, which may be achieved by, but is not 
186 limited to, as a result of the insertion of any piece of money, 
187 coin, account number, code, or other object or information, such 
188 machine or device or system is directly or indirectly caused to 
189 operate or may be operated and if the user, whether by 
190 application of skill or by reason of any element of chance or of
191 any other outcome of such operation unpredictable by the user
may:
193 (a) Receive or become entitled to receive any piece of 
194 money, credit, allowance, or thing of value, or any check, slug, 
195 token, or memorandum, whether of value or otherwise, which may 
196 be exchanged for any money, credit, allowance, or thing of value 
197 or which may be given in trade; or
198 (b) Secure additional chances or rights to use such 
199 machine, apparatus, or device, even though the device or system
200 it may be available for free play or, in addition to any element 
201 of chance or unpredictable outcome of such operation, may also 
202 sell, deliver, or present some merchandise, indication of 
203 weight, entertainment, or other thing of value. The term "slot 
204 machine or device" includes, but is not limited to, devices 
205 regulated as slot machines pursuant to chapter 551.
 

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The lottery dumps a TON of money back into the Florida education system.

Don't know if this is true or not but heard that if you play the lottery (and don't win), you can actually claim 40% of your lottery costs back as a local tax return as you are effectively giving to charity (School system).

Anybody any idea whether you really can or not?

 

Edit: Never mind. Looked it up and you can actually claim the full amount as a gambling loss.

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This is why I oppose all knee-jerk legislation.

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This is why I oppose all knee-jerk legislation.

 

The issue was in the legal system in Florida House and Senate since 2012. The situation was causing 2 major issues. (1) Bleeding dry older retired folks on fixed incomes who were becoming addicted to the "gambling" bug and (2) Weekly, violent strong arm robberies at the locations because of the large amount of cash on hand. Just go on youtube and search for "Internet Cafe Robbery Florida".

The spirit of the law is to protect the citizens of the state in a few different ways.

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...

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Florida passing insane legislation? Quelle surprise!

No different, better/worse than any other bloomin' US State or foreign country... (You folks across the pond have some pretty lame ass stupid legislation too ya know...) :laugh:

 

--signed, resident Floridian :rofl:

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This is obviously an attempt to attract neo-Luddites to Florida.

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Well, that's gonna cause NASA one or two issues... :p

Not to mention the heart attack the NSA's having I'm sure!  LOL

...

ROFL!!  This post for the win!

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