QUICK LINKS: Videos  |  Micromarkets |

Redemption Report

|

Classifieds

|

Buy a Classified Ad

|

Editorial Calendars

|

Circulation Data

|

Downloads

|

Bookstore

|

Date Book

Search:      

Bookmark this site




Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 5, May 2011, Posted On: 4/26/2011


Florida State Legislator Operates, Defends Sweepstakes Video Games


Marcus Webb
sweepstakes video game, sweepstakes café, Internet café, Peter Nehr, Fun City Sweepstakes, phone card vending machine, Pinellas County Sheriff Jim Coats, amusement business, Scott Plakon, HB 217, Mike Fasano, electronic gambling

TALLAHASSEE, FL -- Peter Nehr is not only a Florida state representative, he is also the owner and operator of Fun City Sweepstakes (North Port, FL). His Internet café is equipped with phone card vending machines that offer patrons a chance to enter Internet sweepstakes and win cash prizes.

The Republican from Tarpon Springs says his venue is "a legitimate business that has been vetted and found to be completely legal in the state." He pointed to a recent plea-bargain agreement whereby another sweeps game operator escaped illegal gambling charges as proof that sweepstakes videogames are legal in Florida. | SEE VT COVERAGE

Pinellas County Sheriff Jim Coats disagrees. He says the videogames are illegal gambling devices. The resulting controversy has caught the eye of numerous news outlets in the Sunshine State. | SEE STORY

According to some Florida newspapers, a small Internet café can make more than $20,000 a week by operating electronic sweepstakes games. Observers estimate that there are 300 to 1,000 of these cafés in the state. They say current state laws are not clear on the status of sweepstakes games.

Rep. Scott Plakon (R-Longwood) has introduced a bill -- HB 217 -- that would ban simulated gambling for promotional purposes, which sweepstakes videogames do.

State Sen. Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey) is sponsoring a competing bill to legalize the videogames.

Neither bill is expected to pass this year.

Some Florida jurisdictions, such as Seminole County, have already banned machines with simulated gambling, but are seeing their regulations challenged on constitutional grounds. Other counties are considering similar anti-sweepstakes games ordinances.


Topic: Music and Games Features

Articles:
  • Pete Kauffman Dies; Created Arcade Games Under Exidy Brand
  • China Lifts Ban On Console Videogames; Can Its Thriving Arcades Survive?
  • Chicago's Hard Rock Will Host 8th Annual Big Buck Hunter Championship
  • BACTA Hails Accord Amending Classification Of Claw Games Operating In Great Britain
  • Nintendo President Satoru Iwata Dies At 55

Copyright © 2015 Vending Times Inc. All rights reserved. 
P: (516) 442-1850 | F: (516) 442-1849 | subscriptions@vendingtimes.net
55 Maple Ave. - Ste. 304, Rockville Centre, NY 11570