Florida Bans Computers and Smartphones…No Seriously!
Florida lawmakers recently voted to ban all Internet cafes that offer slot machine like games in an effort to crack down on illegal gambling. More than 1,000 Internet cafes in the state were shut down immediately. Case closed, right? Well, not quite. Because of poor wording Florida not only banned Internet cafes, they also banned every computer and smartphone in the state.
The ban defines illegal slot machines as any “system or network of devices” that may be used in a game of chance. With wording that broad, the definition can be applied to any number of devices, including computers and smartphones, according to the Miami law firm of Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine.
At least one Internet café owner saw the ambiguous wording as an opportunity. Consuelo Zapata, owner of Miami-Dade’s Incredible Investments, LLC, an Internet café that provides online services to migrant workers, is suing the state of Florida, claiming the new ban to be unconstitutional and passed “in a frenzy fueled by distorted judgment in the wake of a scandal that included the Lieutenant Governor’s resignation.”
“As the bulwark of a limited constitution against legislative encroachments, this Court must declare the 2013 amendments to sections 849.094 and 849.16, Florida Statutes, to be unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable.”
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