TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A bill prohibiting the games that occur at Internet cafes, sparked by an on-going racketeering investigation, is headed to Gov. Rick Scott.
An investigation into Allied Veterans of the World charity sparked a renewed examination of the storefront operations. It was accused of running a $290 million illegal gambling business.
The bill is the brainchild of Sen. John Thrasher, a republican from St. Augustine.
"This simply gives our sheriffs and prosecutors a bright line to allow them to enforce the laws in the state of Florida against illegal gambling," said Thrasher.
The Florida senate voted 46 to four in favor of prohibiting the electronic games inside the popular strip center parlors.
Many objections came from South Florida lawmakers like democrat Maria Sachs, of Delray Beach.
"What we did today was not right," said Sachs.
She told me the bill was rushed to a vote by the full Senate.
"Let's not do a knee-jerk reaction because we have some bad eggs here. Let's go ahead and study all the different ways people gamble in this state. Let's make sure they're clean, they're regulated and people are happy," said Sachs.
Thrasher told Action News this is issue isn't new to statehouse lawmakers.
"We've been looking at this for a long time," said Thrasher. "We had bills last year and the year before. It's just we had evidence now that we're right about Internet cafes and the illegal activities they were conducting."
A spokesperson with Gov. Scott says he plans on signing the bill into law.