Thursday April 11, 2013 : FLORIDA ANTI-SWEEPSTAKES BETTING LAW SIGN BY GOVERNOR
New laws against internet cafe-based sweepstakes style gambling was spurred by a major state gambling scandal
A three-year federal investigation into internet cafe ‘sweepstake' style gambling at internet cafes in Florida, and the subsequent exposure of a $300 million money laundering and racketeering activity that led to 57 arrests and the resignation of the lieutenant governor spurred a fast-tracked new law through the state Legislature last month.
After a brief period of review, Florida governor Rick Scott has signed off on the law, which is designed to clarify state law and shut down such operations.
Previously, Internet cafes operated under an ambiguity in Florida law allowing companies to offer sweepstakes as a promotion for selling another product, such as phone cards and Internet time that can be used as patrons see fit.
The new statute allows games of skill, not chance, and limits prizes to 75 cents per win, the Reuters news agency reports.
"I think the House and Senate did the right thing to crack down on illegal gaming, especially in light of the Allied Veterans multi-state conspiracy," Governor Scott commented to reporters following the signing.