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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 4, April 2011, Posted On: 3/16/2011

Florida Bill Would Eliminate Internet Sweepstakes Games

Marcus Webb
Internet sweepstakes game, sweepstakes, sweepstakes video game, Scott Plakon, HB 217, Electronic Machines and Devices for Sweepstakes Prohibited Act, Florida sweepstakes game, Internet cafés, gambling machines, video lottery, video poker, amusement business

TALLAHASSEE, FL -- State Rep. Scott Plakon (R-Longwood) proposed a bill that would revise Florida's statutes regulating amusement and gambling devices on March 8.

Designated HB 217, the Electronic Machines and Devices for Sweepstakes Prohibited Act is designed to prohibit the operation of an electronic device to conduct sweepstakes through use of entertaining display or to promote such sweepstakes. | SEE HB 217

Internet sweepstakes videogames with cash prizes were partially banned last year in North Carolina and completely banned earlier this year in Virginia. | SEE STORY

According to a story in the Tallahassee Democrat, sweepstakes cafés have popped up across the Sunshine State, some with as many as 80 terminals inside and casino-style signage outside promoting $5,000 jackpots. | SEE STORY

Plakon said his bill is designed to close a loophole in state laws that permit what he termed "convenience gambling" to exist, legally.

In addition, the Florida lawmaker charged that some Internet cafés are allowing citizens to gamble with funds from state-issued electronic-benefit-transfer cards, which are intended for food stamps or other public assistance to the needy.

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