Jacksonville area businesses given 7 days to close in effort to create safer neighborhoods

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Nearly two dozen local businesses have seven days to close their doors in the city’s effort to create safer neighborhoods in Jacksonville.

UPDATED STORY: 15 internet cafes in Jacksonville forced to close Monday 

“They have seven days to remove the illegal games from their premises, or they will be condemned,” said Brian Hughes, chief of staff for the mayor.


Hughes said nearly two dozen internet cafes without a certificate of use got a letter Monday, saying they have seven days to get out. 
"They are not what the people of Jacksonville want, and it's time to look elsewhere," he said.

Hughes said many  such businesses move around and try to reopen.

But, he said, code enforcement, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and the fire inspection team are working closely together to keep an active and updated list of where they’re going.

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“Now, even if the company names are changing, if we can identify a location that’s active, give it this notice and then immediately, at the expiration of the seven-day notification period, we can put the condemnation in place. That’s really where the enforcement has never been able to go before,” said Hughes.

In 2018, JSO told Action News Jax that, in the last five years, it hadreceived more than 28,000 calls to addresses tied to 100 cafes.

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Businesses with a certificate of use will have six months to pull out any simulated gambling machines, the sheriff's office said.