TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Gaming centers also known as "Internet cafes" are now illegal in Florida.
Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Wednesday that bans up to 1,000 storefront operations across the state.
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The new law took effect immediately after Scott signed the bill.
Governor Scott issued this statement:
"The Legislature did the right thing to crack down on illegal gaming operators. We look forward to turning our focus back on jobs and education in this session. We have two key priorities - a $2,500 teacher pay raise and the elimination of the sales tax on manufacturing equipment. These two priorities are a part of our agenda to keep our economy growing and creating jobs and a highly trained workforce. We have heard lots of talk in support of these priorities. Now is the time for action.
However, state officials say they will leave enforcement of the new law to local law-enforcement officials.
Florida legislators voted overwhelmingly last week to approve the ban. It was a quick response to a scandal that led to dozens of arrests and the lieutenant governor's resignation last month.
The storefront operations targeted by the bill currently allow customers to play sweepstakes games that simulate slot machines. But critics contend the new law will also lead to the closures of senior arcades.