JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Thousands of Internet cafe owners and employees are searching for a new way to make a living now that a statewide ban is in effect.
Many protested the ban and said they were forced to file for unemployment at WorkSource on Norwood Avenue on Wednesday.
Local mother, Patrina Kelly, recently lost her job at Stars Cyber Café. She says now her independence is at stake.
"I was able to branch off on my own with me and my son and had a hold on my own household," said Kelly.
When Gov. Rick Scott signed the Internet café ban last week, thousands of people suddenly were left without a job.
Robin Rukab owns Lucky 7's Cyber Café on the Westside. She organized the protest hoping to send a message to Tallahassee.
"We elected Gov. Scott to secure jobs for our people in the state of Florida," said Rukab. "With the stroke of a pen, he took away almost 15,000 jobs and put people at the unemployment line."
Many operators told Action News their business helped many get off government assistance.
"What are they going to do now?" asked Keith Davis, owner of Stars Cyber Cafe. "They are going to go back to the system. They are going to go back on welfare and cost the state more money."
There were an estimated 1,500 sweepstakes across Florida before the shutdown was enacted.
According to WorkSource, 25 people associated with Internet cafes filed for unemployment Wednesday at the Northside location.