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Issue Date: Vol. 53, No. 4, April 2013, Posted On: 3/17/2013

Florida Lawmakers Rush To Ban Sweepstakes Videogames

by Staff Reporter
TAGS: Florida HB 155, Carlos Trujillo, sweepstakes video game, Internet gambling café, Florida sweepstakes gambling investigation, sweepstakes operators, Allied Veterans of the World, Operation Reveal the Deal, Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, Gerald Bailey, Donald Eslinger, Florida sweepstakes industry, sweepstakes crackdown

TALLAHASSEE, FL -- The Select Committee on Gaming in Florida's House passed on Mar. 15 a bill to ban the state's estimated 1,000 Internet sweepstakes videogame venues. HB 155 is sponsored by Rep. Carlos Trujillo (R-Miami).

The Senate's gaming committee is expected to pass a similar bill on Monday, Mar. 18. Gov. Rick Scott, who is on record favoring a ban for the $1 billion business, is expected to support whatever legislation emerges to prohibit risk-reward entertainment on sweepstakes videogames.

Two days prior (Mar. 13) to the House committee vote, Florida's Department of Law Enforcement and the Internal Revenue Service began a crackdown on electronic sweepstakes, arresting 55 operators and raiding dozens of venues. | SEE STORY

As earlier reported by Vending Times, the law enforcement onslaught followed a three-year undercover investigation called "Reveal the Deal." The massive enforcement action prominently targeted leading sweepstakes operator Allied Veterans of the World (Jacksonville), owned by International Internet Technologies.

News of the impending raids led to the resignation of the state's Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll on Tuesday, Mar. 13. Prior to her election to that post, Carroll ran a PR firm that had Allied Veterans as a client.

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