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Battle over gaming rooms

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Updated: 8/25/2009 11:36 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- It's a battle between two local game rooms. On Tuesday, Jacksonville Greyhound Racing filed a lawsuit against Allied Veterans of the World.
     
There are six of them in our area. Allied says it's a local veterans non-profit organization, but other gaming organizations say they're doing illegal gambling behind closed doors.

Allied's lawyer says they offer a sweepstakes to people, basically giving them a prize when they spend a certain amount of money. Greyhound says using slot machines to do that is what makes it illegal.

Kelly Mathis is the attorney for Allied Veterans of the World and says his client follows the law and he will defend them in court. Jacksonville Greyhound Racing Inc. filed a lawsuit against them Tuesday. 

They say Allied is using slot machines to gamble, and that's illegal in Florida.  Our cameras weren't allowed in but investigators for Greyhound took pictures. Mike Freed is their attorney. "It's not licensed, regulated, or permitted and it's damaging to the community," said Freed. "If you get something of value for playing slots you've broken Florida law."

These internet cafes are popping up all over the place. Kelly Matthews owns Smitty's in Mandarin. "We've been to the sheriff, had them looked at our system. They've told us you're fine, we have no problem with you." She says if Allied is doing it illegally it hurts all businesses following the law. "It's not fair, especially for us little people," said Matthews.

This lawsuit asks for damages in excess of 15 thousand dollars. The lawyer for Greyhound says they're hoping this lawsuit makes police more aware of illegal gambling.
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