Dozens Of Jacksonville Gaming Parlors Targeted As Part Of Crackdown
Twenty-three gaming parlors were ordered shut down Monday following a City Council ruling to ban casino-style games at internet cafes around the city, according to city officials.
WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union reports that the City said they constitute “a public nuisance.” The action targeted the first of a list of businesses well known for bright LED lighting around signs advertising “FUN” in strip malls from Arlington to the Westside.
The City Council approved the bill May 28, and the city’s demand to cease operations focuses on any business that does not have a valid certificate of use issued by the city.
About 110 businesses hold those certificates authorizing them to operate and can keep their gaming devices until Feb. 1, city attorney Jason Teal told the City Council before the bill’s passage. “Many more simulated gambling establishments have opened illegally,” among the first targeted with the Monday deadline, the city said.
Two of the businesses on Monday’s list have filed appeals with the Municipal Code Compliance Division. The city is holding off on enforcement until those are resolved and not releasing their names.
City spokeswoman Nikki Kimbleton said owners and staff at the remaining affected business will be given 24 hours to get their personal belongings out, then enforcement begins.
An expanded version of this story that includes comments from Kimbleton and the owner of Wilson Arcade along with background information on the gaming parlors issue is at Jacksonville.com.